Who was T. W. Wood?
Montpelier's native son, Thomas Waterman Wood (1823-1903) was a highly acclaimed artist who headed both the National Academy of Design and the American Watercolor Society. He was best known for his many portraits and genre paintings. He was one of the first artists to paint African Americans, before and just after the emancipation, not as objects but as people with ordinary lives.
In his later years Wood wanted the people of Montpelier to have its own art gallery. He donated a number of his works and those of his contemporaries along with numerous copies he created of the European masters during his many trips to Europe’s great museums.
What is the WPA?
The Federal Art Project (1935-1943) was a New Deal program to fund America’s arts projects under the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It sustained some 10,000 artists during the Great Depression.