Woodstock, Vermont by Marion Post Wolcott
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240)
The snow’s coming down in fat flakes around our Brooklyn office right now and it couldn’t be more perfectly timed for today’s vintage release. This monochrome charmer is good press for cold weather. Plus, it has mass appeal. Skiers, snow lovers, retro art aficionados, black & white photography buffs, vintage car enthusiasts, and—hey!—Vermonters will delight in its details. You don’t need new gear or the ability to carve that powder like a pro to transport yourself to peak winter pleasure. Partake of an avalanche of retro ski town specialness in our new limited-edition print of Woodstock, Vermont, by esteemed FSA-era photographer Marion Post Wolcott.
We like to think the unseen skiers in this car are headed home from a day spent on the slopes. There’s not a single person in sight, but the contextual details tell such a good story. That old-timey town! Those queued-up, curvy thirties-era cars! But there’s more than a moment in transit in this image. There’s the suggestion of a destination, of a whole mood. The cronch of fresh snow, the frosty kiss of alpine air, the buzz of a great run down a black diamond, the promise of a cozy lodge in which to warm your woolens and sip hot chocolate by a fire—it’s almost enough to make you forget how long it takes to put chains on your tires ...
According to the Library of Congress, the complete title of this Wolcott photograph is actually more of a sentence: Woodstock, Vermont has nine ski towns and is generally very crowded with skiers on weekends. Wolcott captured this image in 1938, just a few years after the first rope ski tow in the United States was installed in 1934 by Bob and Betty Royce, proprietors of the quaint White Cupboard Inn in the small town of (you guessed it) Woodstock, VT. The ski tow solved for a rather irritating impediment to the unmitigated enjoyment of winter sports: schlepping back uphill after a sweet downhill run. Instead, you’d hitch a ride on the tow—a continuous loop of rope, propelled by a motor through a series of pulleys and wheels that’d take you straight to the top of the hill.
Shortly afterward the introduction of the ski tow, ski tourism began to balloon, compounded by the advent of the chairlift. It only increased in popularity after World War II with a shift in the general mindset toward leisure activity—access to recreational time started to be seen as one of the freedoms our country fought for. The popularity of ski tourism in the U.S. has grown steadily ever since. Perhaps you know a ski bum yourself, or aspiring ski lodge loungers like us (it’s good to have goals). A classic black & white print with a nod to snowy recreation would make a mighty good gift. Or maybe you’re just in the mood for a winter vacation (who isn’t, really). Woodstock, Vermont will roll you into winter respite, lift ticket not required.
With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200