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Helen Day Art Center facts for kids

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Helen Day Art Center
Established 1981
Location 90 Pond Street
Stowe, Vermont, United States
Type Art Center

The Helen Day Art Center is a non-profit contemporary arts and education organization in the village of Stowe, Vermont. Established in 1981, the Center hosts exhibitions of visual art by internationally and nationally recognized artists and local Vermont artists. "Exposed" is the Center's annual outdoor sculpture exhibit. The Center also offers art classes in a variety of media for youth and adults, as well as guided tours of exhibits, extensive public programs and a free hands-on room and Art Lounge.


The Helen Day Art Center was started by Helen Day Montanari and Marguerite E. Lichtenthaeler.

Dr. Lichtenthaeler who was born in Reading, Pennsylvania received a medical degree from Boston University in 1916 and practiced medicine for the next twenty-five years. In 1940 she moved to Stowe, Vermont with Helen Day Montanari. She established her own practice in town and continued to see patients until she was eighty years old.

Helen Day Montanari was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied the Italian language for a year at Radcliffe College. She later married General Carlo Montanari, who was killed in World War I. After the war was over, she brought her three children to the United States and settled in Newton, Massachusetts. A few years later, she came down with an illness and was diagnosed by Dr. Lichtenthaeler. The two women became lifelong friends and eventually decided to share a house in Stowe.

The two women shared intellectual interests, loved to travel, and shared a concern for the quality of life in their town. Dr. Lichtenthaeler was always counted on to rise during Town Meetings to plead for a library appropriation. Mrs. Montanari, who felt just as strongly left a $40,000 trust after she died for the establishment of an art center and a library. Years later, there was a successful campaign to raise the remainder of the money that was needed for the Stowe Free Library and the Helen Day Art Center.

Historic timeline

  • 1863: The Greek Revival "Village School" was built and counterpoint to the Stowe Community Church. They shared the same architect.
  • 1900: Second Story Wings Added
  • 1955: Helen Day Montanari (a long-time visitor and eventual resident of Stowe) died and left a trust fund in the care of her friend, Dr. Marguerite Lichtenthaeler. The two women shared a dream of a new Library and Art Center for Stowe.
  • 1974: Stowe High School moved into its new quarters on the Barrows Road. The "Village School", affectionately called "Old Yeller", was left vacant.
  • 1980: After dedication and foresight by Historic Stowe, Inc. and the Trustees of the Helen Day Montanari Fund, restoration of the vacant school begun. It was to be reincarnated as The Helen Day Memorial Library and Art Center and officially registered on the National Register of Historic Sites.
  • 1981: The Stowe Free Library officially moved into the first floor of the new building.

A group of volunteers, under the leadership of Beverly Wood, met to discuss the formation of an Art Center. During the summer months, two art exhibits were held: Stan Marc Wright's paintings and Parker Perry's Samoan Tapa works. In December, the first official exhibit THE FESTIVAL OF THE CHRISTMAS TREES was presented.

  • 1982: The Helen Day Art Center was officially incorporated and registered with the Secretary of State as a non-profit corporation.
  • 1994: New additions added.
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