A nearby library is home to a national art treasure.

Panel of Orozco muralOur guests come to the October Country Inn for many reasons. Sometimes they come to hike, bike, kayak, shop, hunt for antiques, pan for gold, or just kick back and feast on local foods. Sometimes they come just to absorb Vermont. It is a special place. Time spent in Vermont is never wasted. For whatever reason our guests stay with us, there’s always the possibility of an unexpected bonus. The cherry on the cake. For example, who would have thought that a trip to Bridgewater Corners, Vermont puts you in the neighborhood for the option to view one of the finest Mexican wall murals ever produced.

Jose Orozco

Jose Orozco

The Epic of American Civilization,” a nearly 3,200 square feet mural of 24 panels painted by José Orozco between 1932 and 1934 on the walls of the reserve corridor of Dartmouth College’s Baker Library in nearby Hanover, New Hampshire. The mural depicts the history of the Americas from the Aztec migration into Mexico to the industrialization of modern society. Orozco, together with Diego Rivera, and David Siqueiros, was one of the big three muralists of the Mexican Mural Renaissance. Orozco was the most complex of the Mexican muralists, fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera. While Rivera was a bold, optimistic figure, touting the glory of the Mexican revolution, Orozco was less comfortable with the bloody toll the social movement was taking.

Dartmouth's Baker Library

Dartmouth’s Baker Library.

This national historic landmark is considered on the finest examples of mural painint in this country by one of the greatest twentieth-century practitioners of public art. Sections of this mural are named: “Migrations,” “Human Sacrifices,” “The Appearance of Quetzalcoatl,” “Corn Culture,” “Anglo-America,” “ Hispano-America,” “Science,” and “Modern Migration of the Spirit.” In addition to the mural, Dartmouth owns more than 200 preparatory drawings and historical photographs which are not generally on public view. However, Dartmouth invites you to explore this material in conjunction with the finished mural. See Digital Orozoco Project. This interactive journey reveals Orozoco’s creative process, methods, and the evolution of this great work. As a final point of somewhat unrelated interest, Orozoco also illustrated the 1947 book “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck.