Aug
4
Tue
Tuesday Talk – “J. P. Morgan: The Financier as Collector of the Arts”
Aug 4 @ 4:00 pm

Popular professor/historian Francis Morrone returns to the mansion for the eighth summer, giving a Tuesday Talk on “J. P. Morgan: The Financier as Collector of the Arts”.  Morrone will make his visual presentation via Zoom from his home in Brooklyn, NY, on Tuesday, August 4 at 4:00 pm.

J. Pierpont Morgan was the brother of Sarah Spencer Morgan, who, with her husband, George Hale Morgan, built Ventfort Hall in 1893. Not only was J.P. a colossus in the financial and corporate worlds, but he was also the greatest art collector of his age.

His considerable success as a leading financier provided him with a means to amass over a 22-year period a collection of over 20,000 works of art, valued in 1912, a year before his death, at about $60 million and today at $1.6 billion.  Whereas Sarah used a portion of her inheritance, received after their father, Junius, died in 1890, to pay for Ventfort Hall, J.P. was able to begin to acquire art on a vast scale.

The wide range of objects he collected included antiquities, medieval silver gilt and ivories, Renaissance bronzes and Majolica, Renaissance and Baroque silver gilt, ivories and glass, watches and clocks, jewelry, rock crystal and amber, sculpture, miniatures, porcelains, tapestries, Old Master paintings and drawings, books and illuminated manuscripts – and three Gutenberg bibles.

Among the scholarly advisors Morgan consulted was his nephew, Junius Spencer Morgan, the son of George and Sarah.  Junius’s special interest was rare books, manuscripts and works on paper.  By 1902, this particular collection for J.P. had reached 10,000 items and he made the decision to build what was to become the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City to house these acquisitions.  It opened in 1906.

Young Junius introduced his uncle to the Princeton librarian Belle Da Costa Greene, the African-American woman who would become the director of the then named Pierpont Morgan Library and whose life and career will be a subject of the lecture.

During the same time, Morgan, who had been a member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art board, was elected president when it was undergoing a major expansion.  Through the years, he was instrumental in donating, loaning and acquiring significant collections for the institution.  The museum received 7,000 additional objects after his death. Morgan transformed the Met into the world-class institution it is today.

Morgan was born in 1837 in Hartford and is buried in the family tomb at Cedar Hill Cemetery in the same city.  The third major museum to receive his interests in art was the Wadsworth Athenaeum.  The Morgan Memorial Wing, named in memory of his father was opened in 1910.  The items exhibited there are considered a major portion of the Athenaeum’s holdings.

Morrone is the author of thirteen books, including architectural guidebooks to Philadelphia and Brooklyn and with Henry Hope Reed, The New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.  Morrone’s writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, City Journal and the New York Sun, where he was an art and architecture critic.

He teaches architectural and urban history at New York University, and is the recipient of the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.  Travel + Leisure magazine named him as one of the thirteen best tour guides in the world.  He has also received an Arthur Ross Award from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

Tickets for the Morrone lecture are $20 per person. To view him on Zoom register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tuesday-talk-j-p-morgan-the-financier-as-collector-of-the-arts-tickets-114819494198

Reservations for viewing him at Ventfort Hall on Zoom are strongly recommended as seating will be strictly limited. For reservations to attend at the mansion call us at 413-637-3206.  Tea cannot be served until further notice due to the Corona virus.

The Summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Aug
5
Wed
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Aug 5 all-day
Aug
8
Sat
Drop in Yoga every Saturday 8am to 9am
Aug 8 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here outside the mansion on Saturday mornings  at 8 am. The class will be held on our lawn, weather permitting. Greet the day with the birdsong, warming sun, and yoga!

Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced. Outside access only.

Susan has been a yoga practitioner for over 16 years, culminating in 2018 with certification as a yoga instructor, graduating from the Yoga Institute of The Berkshires. She is also member of the Yoga Alliance.

Susan’s practice and classes are focused on linking purposeful movement with intention and breath. Her classes incorporate the restorative sounds and scents of nature and center on playful, safe and grounded guidance with instruction for all levels of yogis. Susan encourages students, friends and students to appreciate themselves by sharing time on the mat, motion, and breath.  At the close of her classes, experience the calm and rest of Shavasana.

When not on the mat, teaching or practicing yoga, you will find Susan beautifying a client’s landscape, running or hiking in the woods with her loving Labradors Buddha and Elvis. She is a native of the Berkshires, a business owner/partner, avid yogi practitioner and teacher, sharing her practice and teaching at Lenox Yoga and Ventfort Hall.

Cost to attend is $15.00 a session, cash or check payable that day. Part of the cost is a donation to Ventfort Hall. Space is limited.

Aug
11
Tue
CANCELLED – Tuesday Talk – “Literary Conversations: Austen, Bronte & Alcott”
Aug 11 @ 4:00 pm

CANCELLED

Bestselling audiobook narrators Alison Larkin & Anne Undeland will present here at the mansion “Literary Conversations: Austen, Bronte & Alcott” on Tuesday, August 11 at 4:00 pm.  Their presentation is part of Ventfort Hall’s summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks.

What if Jane Austen (1775-1817), Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) and Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) were to meet? Where would the conversation between three of the 19th century’s most acclaimed female authors lead? Why did none of them marry?  Larkin and Undeland will take on what might have been a transatlantic discussion on these and other subjects, including marriage, love and womanhood and what it was like to record the works of these three towering authors.  The duo’s conversations came about while researching background for their audiobook narrations of novels by these authors. Join Larkin and Undeland for a unique hour of witty repartee and readings from the novels.

Larkin is not only an award-winning audiobook narrator, but also a comedienne, writer, novelist and founder of Alison Larkin Presents, based in the Berkshires. As such, she is dedicated to bringing out the fun in the classics. Within four years, her audiobook productions have won ten AudioFile Earphone awards for excellence.  Recent releases read by her include The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Audiobooks from Alison Larkin Presents including Jane Eyre, Little Women and The Secret Garden will be on sale after the presentation or by downloading https://alisonlarkinpresents.com/

Larkin’s own novel The English American grew out of her autobiographical one-woman show about an adopted English woman who finds her birth parents in the US.  She appeared on Broadway with the National Theater and Royal Shakespeare Company.  Her many accents and voices can be heard in television cartoons and movies and over 200 audiobooks.

As an actress Undeland remains a Ventfort Hall favorite, having appeared there in such one-woman shows as Paris 1890 – Unlaced, in which she originated and portrayed five different women, Xingu, again originating five different characters, as well as The Belle of Amherst and Fanny Kemble’s Lenox Address. These were plays produced in collaboration with Shakespeare & Company, where Undeland trained as an actress.

She has also appeared on stages in and around the Northeast for over 25 years, including WAM Theatre, Great Barrington Public Theatre, Barrington Stage, Off-Broadway at the United Solo Theatre Festival and Mixed Company. She played roles in productions for BBC radio and WBUR/Boston. She has appeared in her own play Lady Randy, the story of Jenny Jerome, mother of Sir Winston Churchill. Her audiobook narration of Little Women Parts 1 and 2 received high critical acclaim and has become an international bestseller.

CANCELLED – Tickets for the Larkin/Undeland presentation are $20 per person.

To attend their presentation in person at Ventfort Hall reservations are strongly recommended as seating is strictly limited. For reservations to attend at the mansion call us at 413-637-3206.  The museum’s traditional Victorian teas cannot be served until further notice due to the Corona virus.

The summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Aug
12
Wed
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Aug 12 all-day
Aug
15
Sat
Drop in Yoga every Saturday 8am to 9am
Aug 15 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here outside the mansion on Saturday mornings  at 8 am. The class will be held on our lawn, weather permitting. Greet the day with the birdsong, warming sun, and yoga!

Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced. Outside access only.

Susan has been a yoga practitioner for over 16 years, culminating in 2018 with certification as a yoga instructor, graduating from the Yoga Institute of The Berkshires. She is also member of the Yoga Alliance.

Susan’s practice and classes are focused on linking purposeful movement with intention and breath. Her classes incorporate the restorative sounds and scents of nature and center on playful, safe and grounded guidance with instruction for all levels of yogis. Susan encourages students, friends and students to appreciate themselves by sharing time on the mat, motion, and breath.  At the close of her classes, experience the calm and rest of Shavasana.

When not on the mat, teaching or practicing yoga, you will find Susan beautifying a client’s landscape, running or hiking in the woods with her loving Labradors Buddha and Elvis. She is a native of the Berkshires, a business owner/partner, avid yogi practitioner and teacher, sharing her practice and teaching at Lenox Yoga and Ventfort Hall.

Cost to attend is $15.00 a session, cash or check payable that day. Part of the cost is a donation to Ventfort Hall. Space is limited.

Aug
18
Tue
Tuesday Talk – “Costumes Can Deceive: Gone with the Wind, The Movie”
Aug 18 @ 4:00 pm

Fashion historian and owner of an antique clothing store in Adams, MA Lynda Meyer will present at the mansion as part of its summer series of Tuesday Talks. The subject of her visual presentation is “Costumes Can Deceive: Gone with the Wind, The Movie,” which she will make on Tuesday, August 18 at 4:00 pm.

 A long-time expert on the history of fashion, Meyer will unveil the fact that most of the celebrated costumes created for GWTW are not stylistically authentic. The speaker will demonstrate on mannequins the true styling of late 19th century fashions and from the standpoint of Hollywood’s viewpoint the fascinating deceptions of GWTW costumes.

In an article Meyer wrote last winter for Our Berkshire Times, she states “Let’s begin with the first glimpse of Scarlett, played by actress Vivien Leigh, in front of Tara…  The time frame is 1860…Scarlett is wearing a hooped, white organdy garden dress with layers of ruffles. Quite a frock, but the truth is that this dress never existed.  The shoulders are square, with the frilly, high-necked, stand-up collar. Such collars did not appear until the late 1880s, and from the 1840s through the 1870s, the shoulder line was below the shoulder and had a very demure feminine look.”

Later in the article Meyer acknowledges that “the gowns worn by Melanie (Scarlett’s rival for Ashley’s love), Scarlett’s sisters, and Aunt Pitty Pat, were more representative of period fashions.  These characters were meant to be old-fashioned, unattractive and not sexy [like Scarlett]…”

The vintage clothing expert is the owner of Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft.  Early on, at the time that she was a dancer in New York, she became “enraptured” with theatrical costuming and fashion.  Later, she took a job in an antique clothing store in the city. Moving to the Berkshires, she opened her own store in Adams after years of immersing herself in antique clothing. “I learned how to buy things, what to look for and how to restore clothing.”  She is also a frequent lecturer on the subject.

Due to the global Corona virus, Ventfort Hall, which had been closed down since March 15 and only reopened on July 16, is offering its summer series of Tuesday Talks on a later schedule. The Victorian teas will not be served until further notice.  Masks and strict spacing for seating will be observed.

Tickets for this presentation are $20 per person. To view on Zoom register at https://ventfort08182020.eventbrite.com

Reservations for attending the presentation at Ventfort Hall are strongly recommended as seating will be strictly limited. For reservations to attend at the mansion call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

The summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Aug
19
Wed
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Aug 19 all-day
Aug
22
Sat
Drop in Yoga every Saturday 8am to 9am
Aug 22 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here outside the mansion on Saturday mornings  at 8 am. The class will be held on our lawn, weather permitting. Greet the day with the birdsong, warming sun, and yoga!

Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced. Outside access only.

Susan has been a yoga practitioner for over 16 years, culminating in 2018 with certification as a yoga instructor, graduating from the Yoga Institute of The Berkshires. She is also member of the Yoga Alliance.

Susan’s practice and classes are focused on linking purposeful movement with intention and breath. Her classes incorporate the restorative sounds and scents of nature and center on playful, safe and grounded guidance with instruction for all levels of yogis. Susan encourages students, friends and students to appreciate themselves by sharing time on the mat, motion, and breath.  At the close of her classes, experience the calm and rest of Shavasana.

When not on the mat, teaching or practicing yoga, you will find Susan beautifying a client’s landscape, running or hiking in the woods with her loving Labradors Buddha and Elvis. She is a native of the Berkshires, a business owner/partner, avid yogi practitioner and teacher, sharing her practice and teaching at Lenox Yoga and Ventfort Hall.

Cost to attend is $15.00 a session, cash or check payable that day. Part of the cost is a donation to Ventfort Hall. Space is limited.

Reading by Tina Packer – “Tales from Shakespeare”
Aug 22 @ 4:00 pm

Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer has teamed up with local audiobook publisher Alison Larkin to produce a new audiobook, Tales from Shakespeare. The audiobook includes ten short stories in modern language, written and recorded by Ms. Packer, based on the plays of William Shakespeare. It is published by Alison Larkin Presents. Tina Packer will read from her book here at the mansion and will be interviewed by Artist Director Allyn Burrows.

“We are passionate about bringing the classics to today’s listeners in fun, relevant, and easy-to-listen-to audiobooks,” says publisher Alison Larkin. “As soon as I learned that Tina had turned ten of Shakespeare’s plays into short stories, I knew they would make for an entertaining and important audiobook. I asked Tina if she would narrate it herself. Fortunately, she said YES!”

Director, actor, and Shakespearean expert, Tina Packer has adapted ten of Shakespeare’s most popular plays into short stories, retold in modern language. Her introduction, included on the audiobook, provides the listener with information about Elizabethan England and Shakespeare’s life and work.

“These are such good stories; they have value for us at any age. I’ve written them so that 5-year-olds, or 13-year-olds, or 103-year-olds will enjoy them,” said author Tina Packer. “Now it might be that parents will sit with their children and listen to Twelfth Night, but will save Macbeth for the following year, or sneakily listen to King Lear by themselves! And everyone loves listening to the foolery of Puck, the passion of Romeo and Juliet, and the bravery of Rosalind as she dresses up as a boy and teaches her lover how to woo her/him. The stories are for us, for all time. I hope people will enjoy them as much as I do.”

In reviewing the stories the School Library Journal stated: “Packer captures the essence of the playwright’s words and ideas, placing them in concise and clearly told stories…A treasure trove of well-told tales.”

Stories included in Tales from Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, As You Like It, Macbeth, The Tempest, Othello, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet.

Tales from Shakespeare will be available everywhere audiobooks are sold on August 14, 2020.

Tickets for the presentation are $20 per person. To view on Zoom register at https://ventfort08222020.eventbrite.com

To attend the event in person at Ventfort Hall reservations are strongly recommended as seating will be strictly limited. For reservations to attend at the mansion call us at 413-637-3206.