May
28
Sat
Lawn Sale
May 28 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Come to our giant one-day Lawn Sale, organized and donated solely by members of the program committee, staff, volunteers and board of directors of Ventfort Hall on Saturday, May 28 from 9 am to 2 pm.

What could be more appropriate than a one-day lawn sale of cast-offs that could become valued treasures for you! Only at historic Ventfort Hall!

Lawn Sale to benefit Ventfort Hall

Jun
3
Fri
CLOSING AT 2 PM FOR A PRIVATE EVENT
Jun 3 @ 6:52 pm – 7:52 pm
Jun
4
Sat
Ghost Tours with Robert Oakes on May 6, 20, June 4 and 17
Jun 4 @ 7:30 pm

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 not an active investigation.

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 represented the museum and its ghosts 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.

The tours will take place on May 6 and 20, June 4 and 17 all at 7:30 pm. Admission is $27 and minimum age to attend is age 12. Reservations are required. To purchase tickets please call us at 413-637-3206. Please note that all tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event. Proof of vaccination and ID required.

Jun
12
Sun
Premier of Children’s Play – “Spyjinks”
Jun 12 @ 1:00 pm

Self-described kooky Creator-in-Chief Don Jordan of the Nutshell Playhouse will bring his troupe to appear in an original production, Spyjinks, premiering for the first time at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Sunday, June 12 at 1 pm. 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, weather permitting. Please bring chairs or blankets.

Four intrepid spies and a parrot named Taco are on their very first spy mission. They must rescue the beautiful Jolandalinda, who has been kidnapped and hidden on Malumboo, the Island of Very Bad Luck. How will they rescue her?

Follow their adventures as they battle the ferocious Malumboosquito, sink up to their bellybuttons in quicksand, get unexpected help from a local llama, defy gravity, learn to speak backwards, and a lot more silliness. Oh, and did I mention the toucan? Will they succeed? There is only one way to find out…

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.

Reservations for attending the performances are required by calling Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206.  Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination including ages 5 and over, ID for ages 18 and over. The mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

Jun
14
Tue
Tuesday Tea & Talk – A Dirty Year 1872: Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in Gilded Age New York
Jun 14 @ 4:00 pm

Brooklyn storyteller and author Bill Greer will kick off Ventfort Hall’s 2022 Tuesday Summer Tea & Talk series on June 14 at 4:00 pm. He will talk about the city of his book A Dirty Year: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in Gilded Age New York. Tea will be served after his presentation.

The year is 1872, seven years after the Civil War.  New York is convulsing with social upheaval and sexual revolution. In this illustrated talk, Bill Greer paints a picture of the city from the man’s world of Wall Street to the mansions of Fifth Avenue, from the smut dealers of Nassau Street to the limelights of Broadway, from pious Christians to free-loving iconoclasts. He highlights larger-than-life characters who fascinated the city – suffragist and presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, vice hunter Anthony Comstock, celebrity preacher Henry Ward Beecher, and more – and the issues of the day that play out through their lives, issues that resonate today, from sexual impropriety and reproductive rights to attacks on the press and the chasm between rich and poor.

Bill Greer has spent decades exploring New York, along with the world.  As a travel writer and Internet entrepreneur, he built the early web’s leading community for outdoor adventure. His turn to telling New York’s stories began with his novel The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan, exploring the city’s founding as New Amsterdam. He has served as an officer and trustee of the New Netherland Institute, chairing the Institute’s program to establish the New Netherland Research Center and receiving the Institute’s Howard Hageman award. More recently, he has focused on New York’s Gilded Age with his nonfiction narrative A Dirty Year: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in Gilded Age New York. Bill holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has spoken on New York history throughout the Hudson Valley.

Tickets are $30 for members and with advance reservation; $35 day of; $22 for students 22 and under. Reservations are required as seats are limited. For reservations call us at (413) 637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination and ID are required. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox. The summer series of Tea & Talks is sponsored in part by board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

ABOUT BILL’S BOOK

A Dirty Year: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in Gilded Age New York is a nonfiction narrative of 1872 New York, a city convulsing with social upheaval and sexual revolution and beset with all the excitement and challenges a moment of transformation brings.  As the year begins, the New York Times headlines four stories that symptomize the decay in public morals the editors so frequently decry.  Financier Jim Fisk is gunned down in a love triangle. Suffragist and free lover Victoria Woodhull is running for president.  Vice hunter Anthony Comstock battles smut dealers poisoning children’s minds.  Abortionists are thriving.

Through the year these stories intertwine in ways unimaginable, pulling in others famous and infamous – suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Brooklyn’s beloved preacher Henry Ward Beecher, the nation’s richest tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, William Howe, preeminent counsel to the criminal element, and more.

Through the lives of these larger-than life characters, the issues of the day play out – rigged elections, everyday shootings, attacks on the press, sexual impropriety, reproductive rights, the chasm between rich and poor – issues holding up a mirror to the country today.  Political parties split over a bitterly contested election, suffragist battles suffragist over bettering women’s place in society, pious saints fight soulless sinners, until at year-end, this jumble of conflicts explodes in the greatest sensation of the nineteenth century.

Jun
17
Fri
Ghost Tours with Robert Oakes on May 6, 20, June 4 and 17
Jun 17 @ 7:30 pm

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 not an active investigation.

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 represented the museum and its ghosts 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.

The tours will take place on May 6 and 20, June 4 and 17 all at 7:30 pm. Admission is $27 and minimum age to attend is age 12. Reservations are required. To purchase tickets please call us at 413-637-3206. Please note that all tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event. Proof of vaccination and ID required.

Jun
21
Tue
Tuesday Tea & Talk – Before HBO’s ‘The Gilded Age’
Jun 21 @ 4:00 pm

Did the actors of Julian Fellowes’ latest period drama look familiar? Berkshire Eagle Features Editor Jennifer Huberdeau will tell us what past appearances these actors have made here in Berkshire County during her presentation at Ventfort Hall on Tuesday, June 21 at 4:00 pm. Her talk will be followed by a Victorian tea.

Before appearing on HBO’s hit, The Gilded Age, many of the show’s actors appeared on stages across “inland Newport,” as the Berkshires was known. This talk will explore which actors have performed in the Berkshires, as well as the real-life connections of some of its characters.

Jennifer Huberdeau is the editor of Berkshire Landscapes, a new arts and culture magazine published by the Berkshire Eagle, and is the features editor of the Berkshire Eagle, overseeing the weekend edition of Berkshires Week, as well as the food page, Berkshires Week and Summer Previews. She is 2021 Rabkin Foundation Award Winner for her work in visual art journalism and wrote the Berkshires Week column, “The Cottager” for three years. She resides in Adams with her husband and two children.

Tickets are $30 for members and with advance reservation; $35 day of; $22 for students 22 and under. Reservations are required as seats are limited. For reservations call us at (413) 637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination and ID are required. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox. The summer series of Tea & Talks is sponsored in part by board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Jun
28
Tue
Tea & Talk – Elm Court: Berkshires Estate of Emily Vanderbilt and William Sloane
Jun 28 @ 4:00 pm

Architect, author and historian Gary Lawrance returns to speak at Ventfort Hall and will give a visual presentation on Elm Court: Berkshires Estate of Emily Vanderbilt and William Sloane on June 28 at 4 pm as part of the museum’s continuing summer series of Tuesday Talks. A tea will follow his presentation.

Elm Court, designed by Peabody and Sterns for Emily Vanderbilt and her husband William Sloane, is one of the largest shingle style-homes in America. Lawrance will discuss the background of both Emily Thorn Vanderbilt Sloane and the Sloane family, as well as an overview of the estates built in the Berkshires during the Gilded Age, why the Sloanes choose to build their estate in the Berkshires and present archival images of the mansion.

Lawrance frequently lectures on Gilded Age architecture, landscapes and society for historical, garden, preservation and arts organizations, locally and nationally.  He also annually curates a symposium on the Gilded Age, held at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, NY, and is currently vice-president of the American Country House Foundation based in NYC.

Lawrance has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, New York Social Daily and has written for Architectural Digest, Quest magazine, as well as for his Mansions of the Gilded Age blog.  He has founded four popular Facebook and Instagram media sites, Mansions of the Gilded Age and The Gilded Age Society with a combined following of over 300,000.

Tickets are $30 for members and with advance reservation; $35 day of; $22 for students 22 and under. Reservations are required as seats are limited. For reservations call us at (413) 637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination and ID are required. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox. The summer series of Tea & Talks is sponsored in part by board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Jul
5
Tue
Tea & Talk – Frank Lloyd Wright – The Dramatic Life of America’s Most Controversial and Creative Architect.
Jul 5 @ 4:00 pm

Author and historian René Silvin will speak via Zoom at Ventfort Hall Mansion & Gilded Age Museum on Tuesday, July 5 at 4 pm via Zoom. He will present Frank Lloyd Wright – The Dramatic Life of America’s Most Controversial and Creative Architect. Silvin will use over 200 pictures and videos to give a modern context to Wright’s extraordinary story. The lecture is part of Ventfort Hall’s Summer 2022 series of Tuesday Tea & Talks and will be followed by a tea.

Frank Lloyd Wright has been called the greatest American architect of the first half of the Twentieth Century. During a career that spanned seven decades, his homes transformed the way we live. Wright is the inventor of “organic architecture” and the open plan for family life.

He designed over 1,000 structures including homes, office buildings, churches and museums: most notably Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum of art.

Born in rural Wisconsin in 1867, Wright had a tumultuous personal life punctuated by many professional vicissitudes. He married three times, had eight children, and remained productive and creative until the day he died in 1959 at 91 years old.

Silvin, who resides in Palm Beach, Florida, maintains a particularly active interest in historic preservation. He is the immediate past 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 four years ago. Since then he has presented every year, including last year when he presented “Concorde, technology meets glamour.”  Other topics have included “Normandie, the Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner” based on his book of the same title, and the history of Mar-a-Lago.  He is also the author of I Survived Swiss Boarding Schools, Walking the Rainbow: An Arc to Triumph and Villa Mizner: The House That Changed Palm Beach.

Tickets are $30 for members and with advance reservation; $35 day of; $22 for students 22 and under. Reservations are required as seats are limited. For reservations call us at (413) 637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination and ID are required. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox. The summer series of Tea & Talks is sponsored in part by board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Jul
9
Sat
Paranormal Investigation – A Spirited Evening
Jul 9 @ 7:00 pm – 11:45 pm

David Raby returns for another paranormal investigation of the historic and haunted Ventfort Hall.  Join him on Saturday evening, July 9 from 7 pm to midnight.

A non-fiction author and paranormal investigator, Raby has always been intrigued by history. Undaunted, he enters haunted locations that would terrify others with hopes of contacting lingering spirits to discover why they remain.

Raby is the author of four published books and countless online articles. With his passion for the paranormal field, he has accumulated over a decade of experience, founded a paranormal group and has helped many people (and spirits) that ranged between the curious and those seeking urgent advice.

His interest in the paranormal was shaped by the fact that spirits seem to be attracted to his compassion and openness. He has a knack for storytelling that fuels his intensive historical research and fact finding.

He believes that by bringing people’s stories out of the shadows and into the light of our awareness, they may find eternal rest and peace.

Before the investigation, Raby will give a brief history of the lives that once graced the hallways – and possibly still reside within. He will also share some of his favorite evidence from previous investigations and will be happy to answer any questions about paranormal investigations. This event is perfect for everyone; from someone who has never been on a paranormal investigation to the seasoned investigator.

Masks that cover both the mouth and nose are required during this event as well as proof of vaccination and ID. Non-refundable tickets for this exciting event are $38 per person with a reduced rate of $20 for ages 12 – 18 and 19-23 with student ID and are limited. Reservations are required. No walk-ins. Call us for reservations at (413) 637-3206. All of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the preservation and restoration of Ventfort Hall.