The Londonderry Arts and Historical Society houses the largest collection of Bernadine Custer Sharps work. The ninety-one years of her life stand as a generous lifetime committed to the interpretation and documentation of life through the visual arts. Operating primarily in the pictorial media of sketches, oils and watercolors, Custer rendered, with persistence and dedication , her enlivened interpretations of the objects, people and scenes she encountered every day.
Custer was born in 1900 in Normal, Illinois. She attended the Art Institute and in 1928 married Arthur "Jimmy" Sharp. They settled into their lifestyle of traveling between their New York City studio and Vermont living first in Landgrove and then Londonderry. They restored a 19th century farmhouse which today houses the Londonderry Arts and Historical Society.
In 1937 Sharp and Custer joined the Southern Vermont Artists and held annual shows at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. They worked with the Arts Center from the beginning when, as an informal group of artists, the original band pooled their talents for their first public exhibition and sale in 1929. In 1950, the group acquired a house with a garage-studio and 375 acres in Manchester as the site for the center. Custer is heralded as one of the organization's longest standing and most supportive members. In 1973 the Arts Center had a retrospective exhibition of her work.
Custer's work can also be found in the permanent collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Wood Art Gallery, Canajoharie Museum, the Whitney Museum and William College. Furthermore, a large body of Custer's work and papers reside in the Robert Hall Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.