Fleming Museum of Art
61 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont, 05405
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The Fleming Museum of Art is a museum of art and anthropology at the University of Vermont in Burlington. The museum's collection includes some 25,000 objects from a wide variety of eras and places.
The University of Vermont began to acquire a collection of art, artifacts, and other objects in 1826, when a society of faculty and others formed the College of Natural History, a society separate from the University but housing its collections at the Old Mill building on the University Green. When the collection outgrew its Old Mill space, it was relocated to Torrey Hall in 1862. Less than ten years later a third story was built at Torrey Hall for the university's fine arts collection, and the space became known as the Park Gallery of Fine Arts. The collection remained at Torrey Hall in the late 1920s, although it was outgrowing its space.
The formation of the modern Fleming Museum of Art came in 1929, when Katherine Wolcott, the niece and only heir of Robert Hull Fleming and an artist herself, traveled from Chicago to Burlington, intending to establish a scholarship in honor of her late uncle, who had graduated from the University of Vermont in 1862 before becoming a wealthy Chicago grain merchant. Wolcott met with university president Guy Bailey, who proposed a new museum building in memory of Fleming. Wolcott accepted Bailey's proposal and donated $150,000 for the construction of the Fleming Museum.
The university was one of the first to include a room specifically for children, and placed an emphasis on community service and education, including free movies, lectures, and workshops every Saturday, a traveling exhibit program for schools, and an adult education program with evening lectures and classes.
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