"To see my child grow and flourish in a place that’s all hers, in a way that she’s created, fills me with gratitude."

Our Farm

Putney sits on a 500-acre campus of woods and pasture—home to a working dairy farm and nine gardens. Much of the food we eat (and all the milk we drink) comes straight from the farm.

The art studios, theater, gallery, and dorms are scattered around the central campus, and students are free to explore the dozens of trails in the surrounding woods and fields. During the summer, students develop a sense of stewardship for the campus. They swim in the pond (affectionately called “the puddle”), explore the natural landscape, and participate in campus-wide work days.


Our Progressive School

The Putney School is a co-educational boarding and day school for Grades 9-12, located on a working farm in southern Vermont. Since our founding in 1935, we have been a model for progressive education and “learning by doing.” This means sciences are about hands-on discovery, humanities classes are led through discussion, and the arts are a part of everyday life.

Every year, several Summer Arts students are inspired enough to decide to apply to The Putney School, and some Summer Arts students are admitted students set to start at Putney in September. However, current Putney School Students are not allowed to participate in Summer Arts, allowing us, each session, to build a creative community from scratch.


Our Studios

The Wender Arts Building houses an expansive painting and drawing studio with twelve oak easels, work tables, and a 16’ x 16’ north-facing window. On the south side of Wender are the sculpture studio, with wood and stone carving tools, and a blacksmithing shop equipped with oxygen/acetylene welding torches, MIG and arc welders, cutters, blacksmithing tables and a forge. The Print Shop contains facilities for work in monotype, relief, intaglio, letterpress, and stone lithography. Upstairs in the Wender is a loft with eight small studios, and fully equipped, ventilated stained glass and jewelry studios.

The weaving room is on the top floor of the Reynolds Building. Additional space is available, for dyeing and for washing fleece for spinning.  The weaving program has 14 four harness looms, 1 six-harness loom, 7 eight-harness looms, 6 spinning wheels, 4 sewing machines, 1 serger and 1 knitting machine.

The dance studio features a sprung floor, privacy, plentiful light, full mirror, storage space, sound system, and room for live musical accompaniment.

The ceramics facilities located in the Arts & Crafts Building include 7 electric wheels, 1 kick wheel, 2 pug mills, a full inventory of glaze materials for glaze-mixing, a computerized electric kiln, a 35 cubic foot gas kiln, a Raku kiln and a brick structure for pit-firing.

The school has a large ventilated darkroom with a central sink and ten Beseler 45 enlargers. There is a second lab for processing film. The camera inventory includes Nikons, Cannons, Pentax K1000s, Holgas and a Toyo 4 x 5 field camera and a variety of lenses. Our Digital facilities offer 12 iMacs, Photoshop and InDesign, Epson 1400 printers and 2 Epson V500 scanners.

The filmmaking studio is equipped with Canon DSLR cameras and Apple iMacs loaded with software packages including the Adobe Creative Suite, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, iStopMotion, and Dragon Stop Motion.


Our Past

Students have been coming to The Putney School in the summer for our arts and writing studios and the opportunity to participate on work at the farm since 1988. Each summer, over 200 students take what they learn back home to their families, their home communities, their schools, and as inspiration and eventual source material for college applications and other adventures as they make their way in the world.



The Putney School Summer Programs
Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road,
Putney, Vermont 05346 USA
802-387-6297 (main), (802) 387-6216 (fax)

Summer Employment Opportunities