Jun
15
Tue
Tuesday Talk on Zoom – “Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age”
Jun 15 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Award-winning author and journalist Patricia Miller will discuss her book Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington at Ventfort Mansion and Gilded Age Museum.  The speaker will join our Summer series of Tuesday Talks on June 15 at 4:00 pm.

Bringing Down the Colonel tells the story of Madeline Pollard, who sued Congressman William Campbell Preston Breckinridge for breach of promise to marry in 1893, launching a sensational scandal that transfixed the nation.

What Pollard did was shocking because she revealed herself as a “fallen” woman—a woman who had had sex outside of marriage. She made Breckinridge answer for his seduction of her as a teenager in a five-week trial that was front-page news across the country. Madeline’s brave stand prompted women to rise up and demand change in what was undoubtedly the first #MeToo moment.

The book also recounts the story of other players in the saga—Jennie, a young office worker sent by Breckinridge allies into a home for fallen women to spy on Madeline; Julia Blackburn, the Washington matron who defied her social status to testify in support of Pollard, and Nisba, Breckinridge’s daughter, whom he championed and supported as she became one of the truly outstanding career women of her day.

“Bringing Down the Colonel” is a deeply researched account of the affair and its aftermath, along with an examination of the changing sexual mores of the late 19th century…In today’s #MeToo world, “Bringing Down the Colonel” reverberates in unexpected ways.” —The Wall Street Journal 

Miller is an award-winning author and journalist whose fascination with the untold stories of women led her on a ten-year journey to unearth the story of the Breckinridge–Pollard scandal. Her work on the interplay of politics and sexual morality has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post and Ms. Magazine. She received a master’s degree in journalism from NYU.

The admission is $20 per person and is available on Zoom only. To order visit https://ventfort06152021. The Summer 2021 series of Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landau and William Landa.

Jun
19
Sat
Drop in Community Yoga Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:30 am
Jun 19 @ 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. The class is 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.

Jun
22
Tue
Tuesday Talk on Zoom – “Tiffany, La Farge and Their Revolutionary Opalescent Glass Windows”
Jun 22 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Art historian Sylvia Laudien-Meo will give a visual presentation on Zoom as part of our Summer series of Tuesday Talks on June 22 at 4:00 pm.

Laudien-Meo will highlight the new late 19th century craft of opaque glass panes that revolutionized the decoration of Gilded Age churches and homes. Artists Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge were the lead competitors for prestigious private and public commissions throughout the country. Their works expressed the new interests in travel and foreign cultures, new passions for nature and landscape, an interest for symbolism, the Pre-Raphaelites and Art Nouveau, especially for complex interior decoration.

Laudiew-Meo: “We will look at the artists’ newly developed techniques as well as some of their most interesting work.”Both with backgrounds as successful and competing artists in painting and the decorative arts, Tiffany and La Farge simultaneously created incredibly detailed works of art using flat sheets of opalescent glass in an extraordinary range of colors and design, catapulting the medium to a new height of popularity.

The admission is $20 per person and available on Zoom only. To order visit https://ventfort06222021.eventbrite.com The Summer 2021 series of Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Jun
26
Sat
Drop in Community Yoga Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:30 am
Jun 26 @ 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. The class is 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.

Jun
29
Tue
Tuesday Talk on Zoom – “New York’s Woolworth Building & the Five-and-Dime Store Legacy”
Jun 29 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Historian and licensed guide (vice president of the Guides Assn. of NYC) Bob Gelber will give a virtual tour of “New York’s Woolworth Building & the Five-and-Dime Store Legacy.”  His presentation is one of the Summer series of Tuesday Talks.

The Woolworth Building (1910-1913), located on Lower Broadway, was designed by the prominent Beaux Arts architect Cass Gilbert, and is considered one of the city’s most imposingly sited skyscrapers. Rising 792 feet, it soars with a combination of articulate Gothic architecture and massing to achieve drama.

The building represents Frank W. Woolworth’s success and wealth from creating the first five-and-dime stores in America and then worldwide.  Gelber will discuss an overview of Woolworth and his bargain stores, why the building’s design was ahead of its time, a virtual look at the unique architectural details from its terracotta façade to its ornately marble-clothed lobby that has among others a sculpture of Woolworth counting nickels. Our guide will also show rare photos of off-limit areas.

After a 30-year career with the New York State Court System, Gelber has been guiding visitors throughout New York City, including as a staff guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as a volunteer at Open House NY.

The admission is $20 per person and available on Zoom only. To order visit https://ventfort06292021.eventbrite.com The Summer 2021 series of Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Jul
3
Sat
Drop in Community Yoga Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:30 am
Jul 3 @ 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. The class is 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.

Ghost Tour – This is a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.
Jul 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

ALL GHOST TOURS EXCEPT SEPT. 11 ARE SOLD OUT

Join us as Robert Oakes, author of Ghosts of the Berkshires, leads you through the rooms and halls of this historic estate sharing tales of its hauntings. Stand in the places where the eerie encounters occurred, listen to the first-hand accounts of those who experienced them, and maybe even experience something unusual yourself. This is a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.

The tours will take place on August 7, August 28, September 4, September 11 and October 2, all at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $25 and minimum age to attend is age 12. Reservations are required; to register call 413-637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event.

About Robert Oakes

Robert Oakes is an author, teacher, storyteller, and singer/songwriter originally from northern New Jersey and currently residing in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. Since 2010 Robert has led the ghost tours at Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox, MA, and has appeared on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, Jeff Belanger’s New England Legends series on PBS, and The Apple Seed show on BYUradio. In 2020 Robert’s debut book, Ghosts of the Berkshires, was published by Arcadia Publishing.

Jul
6
Tue
Tuesday Talk on Zoom – “A First Woman in Meteorology: Joanne Simpson & the Tropical Atmosphere”
Jul 6 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

A leading authority on weather, climate and human affairs, Prof. James Rodger Fleming will give a visual presentation on the subject of his recent book First Woman: Joanne Simpson and the Tropical Atmosphere for a Tuesday Talk on July 6 at 4:00 pm.  He will give his lecture on this trailblazing female meteorologist via Zoom only as part of our summer series of talks.

Fleming is a professor of science, technology and society, and his subject is the story of the first American woman to earn a Ph.D. in meteorology.  Her discovery?  Clouds are the spark plugs in the heat engine of the tropical atmosphere, and heat from the tropics drives the planet’s general circulation. Atmospheric scientists did not know this in the 1950s, but Simpson did. She held a passion for clouds and severe storms. She flew into and above them, photographed, modeled and attempted to modify them, studying them from all angles.

Most histories of meteorology focus on polar and temperate regions and the accomplishments of male scientists.  Simpson’s work on tropical atmosphere did not fit this pattern. She held two university professorships, mentored a generation of meteorologists and blazed a trail for women in a male-dominated field.

Fleming is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Colby College, Waterville, ME, and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. His teaching bridges the sciences and the humanities, and his research interests involve the history of geophysical sciences, especially meteorology and climate change.  He has written extensively on the history of weather, climate, technology and the environment including social, cultural and intellectual aspects.

The admission for the Fleming talk is $20 per person and is available on Zoom only. To order visit https://ventfort07062021.eventbrite.com  The Summer 2021 series of Tuesday Talks is sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Jul
10
Sat
Drop in Community Yoga Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:30 am
Jul 10 @ 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Join Susan Shook, a yoga practitioner, at an all level yoga class here at the mansion on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. The class is 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.

Jul
11
Sun
Play – Nutshell Playhouse Performance of TOP BANANA!
Jul 11 @ 1:30 pm

Self-described kooky Commander-in-Chief Don Jordan of the Nutshell Playhouse will bring his troupe to appear in an original production here at the mansion. The program is appropriate for children of all ages accompanied by their grown-ups, according to Jordan.  Kids ages 3 – 10 will particularly enjoy the show. Admission tickets are $15 for adults, $7.00 for ages 4 – 17 and ages 3 and under are free.  The performance will be held outside on the mansion grounds. Please bring chairs or blankets. Masks required if unvaccinated. Reservations for attending the performance are required by calling us at 413-637-3206.  The mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

In case of inclement weather, all attendees will be notified via email about the cancellation. Those who did not provide an email address will receive a phone call.  This will also be posted on our Instagram and Facebook pages. 
Below are the options for what to do with your tickets in this scenario: 
1. Exchange to a future event with the Nutshell Playhouse at Ventfort Hall .
2. Use the tickets as a credit on the day of the scheduled performance to visit Ventfort Hall on a self-guided tour (cannot be transferred to a future date).
3. Donate the tickets to Ventfort Hall and receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

“It is a fantasy filled performance of visual and musical delights,” says Jordan.  The cast includes Annie Anaconda, the Singing Snake; Engelburt, the Morphing Puppet Storyteller; the Singing Saw by Zesty; Tap Dancing by Nemonee, and A Motley Crew of Instruments played by Donut. Also listed are “Brand Spanking New Songs and Nutshell Classic Tunes with Don Jordan accompanying. As Always…Our Usual Abundance of Frolicsome Shenanigans.”

Who is the ace, the head honcho, the big enchilada, the big wig, the second to none?  Performers Maizy Broderick Scarpa, Mark Hohlstein and Stefanie Weber discover that being top banana is nowhere near as good as being part of a banana split.

Jordan, Artistic Director/Accompanist, founded the Nutshell Playhouse in 2003.  Before then, he taught and performed with Teatro Studio and I Gesti di Roma in Italy before being invited to perform with Mummenschanz on Broadway. He directed the Pan Twilight Circus’s 1995 production of Creatures of the Lawn, and served as Artistic Director of the Pickle Family Circus.

Jordan has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Smith College, Berkshire Community College, Shakespeare and Co., Barnard College and the Julliard School.  He has also taught at schools in France and Spain.  He is a graduate of the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Nutshell Playhouse productions have been performed throughout the Berkshires, including the Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Athenaeum, Main Street Stage, The Gutherie Center, Clark Art Institute and Whitney Center for the Arts.