Sep
11
Fri
Friday Morning Diversion – “Overcoming Tragedies: Real Life in Lenox’s Gilded Era Country Houses”
Sep 11 @ 11:00 am

Ventfort Hall resident historian and author Cornelia Brooke Gilder will give us a peek at the subject of her next book when she presents “Overcoming Tragedies: Real Life in Lenox’s Gilded Era Country Houses.”  She will make her visual presentation at the museum’s Morning Diversion on Friday, September 11 at 11:00 am. This is the first of what we hope will be a new series of upcoming talks planned for anyone who wishes to take a different kind of morning break either in person or via Zoom.

Gilder points out: “It is easy to imagine that the lives of grand families in Lenox’s Gilded Age were spent coddled in complacency and security.” Drawing on the research that she has been compiling for her book, Gilder explodes this myth with lively accounts of tragic love stories, defiant elopements, terrifying burglaries, financial ruin, and the constant specter of contagious diseases. Please join us to hear how these families responded to crises of their own era.

The historian has co-authored with Richard S. Jackson, Jr., Houses of the Berkshires, 1870 – 1930; authored Edith Wharton’s Lenox; co-authored with Julia Conklin Peters Hawthorne’s Lenox: The Tanglewood Circle, and with Joan Olshansky A History of Ventfort Hall.

Tickets for the Gilder talk are $20.  The event will be offered via Zoom (over morning coffee at home?) and at Ventfort Hall.  To view her on Zoom register at https://ventfort09112020.eventbrite.com

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

Sep
12
Sat
Drop in Yoga every Saturday 8am to 9am and Tuesdays 5 to 6 pm
Sep 12 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturday mornings  from 8 to 9 am and Tuesdays from 5 to 6 pm. The classes are indoors in our great hall.

Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced.

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.

Sep
15
Tue
Tuesday Talk – “All That Glitters Is Not Gold:  The Perils of Being Too Rich”
Sep 15 @ 4:00 pm

Author and historian René Silvin returns to give a Tuesday Talk on “All That Glitters Is Not Gold:  The Perils of Being Too Rich.”  His focus will be two wealthy women, both of whom he knew; Ann Woodward, whom he dubs “She was a great shot” with good reason, and Christina Onassis, whom he titles “A Greek Tragedy.”  Silvin will make his visual presentation via Zoom from his home in Palm Beach, FL. The lecture is part of Ventfort Hall’s Summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks.

Silvin’s family was intertwined with the Woodwards.  Heir to a banking fortune, Williams (Billy) Woodward Jr. married the infamous Ann Crowell (1915 – 1975), a Manhattan showgirl.  In what Life Magazine called “The shooting of the century,” Ann fatally shot Billy in 1955.  She, as well as both their sons, eventually committed suicide.  The widowed Ann had an on-again, off-again relationship with Silvin’s father.  The story is the subject of Dominick Dunne’s book, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.

Christina Onassis (1950 – 1988) was the daughter of the shipping magnate Aristotle and Tina Livanos Onassis.  Christina was heir to two huge shipping fortunes.  Her mother Tina died under mysterious circumstances in 1974.  “The Golden Greek,” as Onassis was known, was then married to Jackie Kennedy. Ari died in 1975, a broken man after the tragic death of his only son, Alexander, a classmate of Silvin’s.  He was closely involved with the family during Onassis’s last illness and death at a hospital Silvin was heading in Paris.

Silvin, who resides in Palm Beach, Florida, maintains a particularly active interest in historic preservation as vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission.  He is the author of Noblesse Oblige, the Duchess of Windsor as I Knew Her, the subject of his lecture at Ventfort Hall two years ago. Last year he presented “Normandie, the Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner” based on his book of the same title.  He is also the author of I Survived Swiss Boarding Schools: An Arc to Triumph and Villa Mizner: The House That Changed Palm Beach.

Tickets for the Silvin lecture are $20 per person. To view him on Zoom register at https://ventfort09152020.eventbrite.com

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 coronavirus.

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

Sep
16
Wed
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Sep 16 all-day
Sep
19
Sat
Drop in Yoga every Saturday 8am to 9am and Tuesdays 5 to 6 pm
Sep 19 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturday mornings  from 8 to 9 am and Tuesdays from 5 to 6 pm. The classes are indoors in our great hall.

Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced.

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.

Sep
22
Tue
Tuesday Talk – “Silhouette Animation: The Genius of Lotte Reiniger”
Sep 22 @ 4:00 pm

Click below for a preview.

 

Screenwriter and film historian Nannina Gilder will introduce “Silhouette Animation: The Genius of Lotte Reiniger” on Tuesday, September 22 at 4:00 pm.  Her presentation is part of Ventfort Hall’s summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks.

Reiniger (1899 – 1981) was a German film director who is considered the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation, a life-long specialty of hers. As a child, she was fascinated with the Chinese arts of paper cutting of silhouette puppetry.  Later, she enrolled in the Theatre of Max Reinhardt where she worked making costumes and props – and creating silhouette portraits of actors within the troupe.  Soon she was making elaborate title cards for silent films, many of which included her silhouettes.

In 1918, Reiniger created animated intertitles for The Pied Piper of Hamelin, a film directed by Paul Wegener.  With that success she was admitted into the Institute for Cultural Research, an experimental animation and short film studio.  Over the next few years, she made several short,   animated films.

She was asked in 1923 to create a feature-length animated film, an unusual request at the time.  The result was The Adventures of Prince Achmed, a project that took three years to produce. During that time Reiniger who with her staff, crafted thousands of cut-outs of intricate silhouettes. For each frame, the cut-outs, made from cardboard and thin sheets of lead, were manipulated by hand and then shot by camera operated by her husband, Carl Koch. Twenty-four frames were needed for each second.  The final result was nicknamed a Shadow Show, a recognized art form, of which Reiniger is considered the inventor.

Earlier this year Gilder hosted at Ventfort Hall a four-part Women in Film Seminar titled “Invisible: Female Filmmakers Before 1960.” She introduced The Adventures of Prince Achmed at the seminar.

A former film curator for the Little Cinema at The Berkshire Museum, Gilder will introduce us to other unique films from Reiniger’s more than 40 works, including Cinderella (1922); The Stolen Heart (1934); Papageno (1935), with background music from Mozart’s The Magic Flute; The Golden Goose (1944), her one film produced in Nazi Germany; Mary’s Birthday (1951), made while living in England, and one or two others she made toward the end of her life.

 Gilder has appeared on the film podcast CitizenDame.  Her play “The Curious Abduction of Mona Lisa” was performed at Ventfort Hall in 2013.

Tickets for Gilder’s presentation whether in attendance at Ventfort Hall or by viewing through Zoom are $20 per person.  Advance reservations are required in either case. To view on Zoom register at https://ventfort09222020.eventbrite.com

For reservations to attend at Ventfort Hall call us at 413-637-3206. The museum’s traditional Victorian Teas cannot be served until further notice due to the coronavirus.

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

Sep
23
Wed
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Sep 23 all-day
Sep
26
Sat
Drop in Yoga every Saturday 8am to 9am and Tuesdays 5 to 6 pm
Sep 26 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturday mornings  from 8 to 9 am and Tuesdays from 5 to 6 pm. The classes are indoors in our great hall.

Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced.

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.

Sep
29
Tue
Tuesday Talk – “P. T. Barnum: The Man, the Myth, the American Icon”
Sep 29 @ 4:00 pm

Click below for a preview.

 

Kathleen Maher, executive director of the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT, will give a visual presentation here at the mansion P. T. Barnum.  Her lecture will take place on Tuesday, September 29 at 4:00 pm and is part of our summer 2020 series of Tuesday Talks.

According to Maher, “The Barnum name alone conjures up ideas and imagination, preconceived notions of a man and philosophy.  Known to most of the world as the ‘Great American Showman’ for more than 170 years, the weight of the Barnum name has forced associations of humbug and merriment, provoked thought and invited controversy, welcomed the cynical and engaged and challenged the skeptic.”

Although the Barnum name reminds us of the American circus legacy, that didn’t come about until he was 61 years old, when the circus collaboration was presented to him.  What was really the passion of his life was Barnum’s American Museum in New York City that revealed his ingenuity and innovation.

The museum was a place for family entertainment, enlightenment and instructive amusement.  It became a shrine for advancing public knowledge of fine arts, music, literature and the marvels of nature, showcasing natural curiosities alongside artistic and historic exhibitions.

Barnum, who lived for almost the full breath of the 19th century, from 1810 to 1891, was an entrepreneur, politician, urban developer, philanthropist, temperance leader, emancipationist, lecturer and author.  Maher will reveal the fact that “Barnum’s pioneering spirit of promotion and his acumen for business transformed popular conceptions of the era, in turn molding and defining many ideals of today.”

Maher has been executive director of the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport for over 20 years.  She has implemented numerous award-winning exhibitions and programs that explore a variety of 19th century social themes and historical events. Under her leadership, the museum, founded in 1893 and housing over 60,000 artifacts, is focusing on new methods of experience development, integrating history, arts, storytelling, science and technology as a plan for the museum’s future.

Tickets for the Maher presentation either at Ventfort Hall or via Zoom are $20 per person.  Reservations are required in either case.  To view on Zoom register at https://ventfort09292020.eventbrite.com

Seating with six-foot spacing at Ventfort Hall will be limited. For reservations to attend at Ventfort Hall call us at 413-637-3206. The museum’s traditional Victorian Teas cannot be served until further notice also due to the coronavirus.

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

Sep
30
Wed
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Sep 30 all-day