Aug
17
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Aug 17 @ 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. The class will be held on our south veranda and, weather permitting, south lawn. Greet the day with the birdsong, warming sun, and yoga!

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 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 & 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.

Aug
20
Tue
Tea & Talk – “The Grandest Madison Square Garden: Art, Scandal and Architecture in Gilded Age New York”
Aug 20 @ 4:00 pm

There is a cast of fascinating characters in “The Grandest Madison Square Garden: Art, Scandal and Architecture in Gilded Age New York.”  Art historian Prof. Suzanne Hinman will tell all when she presents her remarkable story here at the mansion. She will autograph copies of her new book of the same title at a following Victoria tea.

Hinman will center on the most beautiful of New York City’s Gardens or Palaces of Pleasure (1890 – 1925) and the controversial 18-foot nude sculpture of Diana, Virgin Goddess of the Hunt that crowned it. The prominent players were pals, architect Stanford White and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, both of whom gave American vitality to European architectural styles amid the elegant but scandal-ridden Gilded Age. The speaker will also present her new theory regarding a sexual motive behind the famous murder of Stanford White.

Architect, co-author of Stanford White, Architect and great-grandson Samuel G. White says about Hinman’s book, “Using the building as an armature Suzanne Hinman narrates a detailed and wide-ranging account of the Gilded Age from its picaresque characters, social choreography, and cultural preferences to its volatile economy, favorite restaurants, and even construction technology…That armature can support a great deal of information and Hinman uses it to full and entertaining advantage.”

Hinman holds a Ph.D in American art history ands has been a curator, gallerist, museum director, professor and an art model.  She owned an art gallery in Santa Fe and then served as director of galleries at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her interest in the artists and architects of the Gilded Age and the famed Cornish Art Colony in New Hampshire, where Augustus Saint- Gaudens had a studio and summer home, developed while associate director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.

The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks presented every Tuesday until September 10 are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Cost to attend is $28 with advance reservation; $32 day of. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Call us at (413) 637-3206 for reservations.

Aug
24
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Aug 24 @ 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. The class will be held on our south veranda and, weather permitting, south lawn. Greet the day with the birdsong, warming sun, and yoga!

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 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 & 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.

CLOSING SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, AT 4 PM
Aug 24 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

CLOSING SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, AT 4 PM

Aug
27
Tue
Tea & Talk – “New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal”
Aug 27 @ 4:00 pm

Prof. Daniel Czitrom latest book New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Movement reveals several key themes that resonate today.  He will uncover them during his talk here at the mansion and autograph copies of his book during an accompanying Victorian tea.

Czitrom will open with the explosive charges leveled against the New York Police Department and Tammany Hall by the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst in 1892.  Two years later, Parkhurst’s crusade forced the first sensational political investigation of the modern era and kick-started the Progressive movement.

Established by the New York State Senate, the Lexow Committee heard testimony from nearly 700 witnesses, representing all walks of New York life. It revealed in shocking and unprecedented detail how the police force managed New York’s lucrative vice economy, extorted payoffs from respectable businesses and enjoyed immunity from charges of police brutality.

The narrative unfolds amidst the larger contexts of machine politics, national elections, the depression of 1893, vote fraud and vote suppression, and police violence. The effort to root out corrupt cops and crooked politicians morphed into something much more profound: a public reckoning, messy and contentious, over what New York—and the American city—had become since the Civil War. The speaker will dig into the research challenges that he faced in conceiving and writing his book.

Czitrom is Professor of History on the Ford Foundation at Mount Holyoke College, with special interest in the history of New York City and 20th century America. He is also the author of Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn of the Century New York (2008); Media and the American Mind: From Morse to McLuhan (1982); and co-author of Out of Many: A History of the American People (9th ed., 2019), a best-selling college survey textbook.

He served as Historical Advisor for the BBC America historical drama Copper (2011-13) set in Civil War era New York. And he has appeared as a featured on-camera commentator in numerous documentary film projects, including Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People (PBS/American Masters, 2019); The Rise and Fall of Penn Station (PBS, 2014); New York: A Documentary Film (PBS, 1999); American Photography: A Century of Images (PBS, 1999).   Since 2009 he has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks presented every Tuesday until September 10 are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Tickets for the Czitrom talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call us at 413-637-3206.

Aug
31
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Aug 31 @ 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. The class will be held on our south veranda and, weather permitting, south lawn. Greet the day with the birdsong, warming sun, and yoga!

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 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 & 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.

Sep
3
Tue
Tea & Talk – “George Bisacca: His Life, His Way”
Sep 3 @ 4:00 pm

Writer/reporter Steve Crowe will focus on remembering a onetime dynamic Berkshire figure who created the celebrated Eastover Resort in Lenox when he presents “George Bisacca: His Life, His Way” at a Tea & Talk.  As the writer of the authorized memoir, Crowe autograph copies of his book of the same title during an accompanying Victorian tea.

Bisacca (1904—1984) was known throughout the county for his extravagant Fourth of July parade floats, his herds of bison and longhorn steer, his cannon “finales” for The 1812 Overture at Tanglewood, and his generous support of the community.

He was 14 years old when he left high school to work at the Remington Arms factory during World War 1.  When the foreman discovered his age, he fired him and told him to go back to school.  The youngster created an alias – Alfred Montesi – and got a new job in another department of the same factory.

George had enough spunk and the spirit of adventure to travel with Ringling Bros. Circus, harvest wheat in North Dakota and ride trains with hobos. Eventually he put his life savings into a rundown Lenox estate and turned it into the original Eastover Resort.

In 1979, George recounted his adventures in an interview for a pamphlet, “The Eastover Story.” Notes from that interview, stored in a shoebox for nearly 40 years, have preserved in his own words the telling of his story.

Crowe is a native of Lenox. He holds degrees from UMass/Amherst and Boston University. He was a reporter and editor for several North of Boston newspapers, including the Salem News and the (Lawrence) Eagle-Tribune. He has taught college writing courses in the U.S. and China. He and his wife, Betsy, live in Beverly, MA, and also have a home in Monterey, MA.

The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks presented every Tuesday until September 10 are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Tickets for the Crowe talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For  reservations call us at 413-637-3206.

Sep
7
Sat
Tea & Talk – “The Story of the Lenox Tub Parade with Tjasa Sprague”
Sep 7 @ 3:30 pm

Ventfort Hall board member and veteran Lenox Tub Parade participant Tjasa Sprague will present a Tea & Talk on the story of this traditional event that dates back to the Gilded Age in the Berkshires.  Her presentation will be followed by a Victorian Tea.

Her talk coincides with the annual Lenox Main Street parade scheduled for the same day at 1:30 pm, co-sponsored by the Colonial Carriage & Driving Society and the Lenox Chamber.

The New York Times, 9/8/1895, printed: “Now that the hydrangeas, asters, and all the various flowers of this region are approaching perfection, the young women are reminded of the floral tub parade…”  (The Tub defined: an Irish term for a horse drawn cart.)

Over the years Sprague has collected clippings and historic photos of the Lenox Tub Parade. From 1983 it became an annual event again and, says Sprague, “there are countless photos and memories since then. Photos from Anna Alexandre’s photo album and others from the Stokes family show a glimpse into family life revealing how naturally the flower parades would celebrate the joys of the summer and fall seasons.”

Cost to attend is $28 with advance reservation; $32 day of. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Call us at (413) 637-3206 for reservations.

Sep
10
Tue
Tea & Talk – “Life Along the Hudson: The Historic Livingston Country Estates”
Sep 10 @ 4:00 pm

Award-winning architecture and interiors photographer Pieter Estersohn will take us on a pictorial journey with “Life Along the Hudson: The Historic Country Estates of the Livingston Family.” The tour will relate to many of the thirty-five sublime country homes along the Hudson River that he photographed for his large-scale book of the same title. Autographed copies of his book will be available for purchase during the Victorian tea following his presentation.

Constructed on scenic land along the Hudson originally settled in the late 17th century by the influential Livingston family, these later country houses were lived in by descendants, including such 18th century landed gentry and 19th century industrialists as the Astors, Chanlers, Chapmans, Delanos and Roosevelts.

There were Dutch Colonial cottages and grander Gothic Revival, Federal, Georgian and Beaux-Arts residences. Architects that come to mind include Stanford White, A. J. Davis, Calvert Vaux, Warren and Wetmore and others. These houses were paired with expansive lawns and gardens with riverfront views.

Estersohn became fascinated with the subject of his book after purchasing and renovating one such property. He also took an earlier interest in both the imagery and history of country houses here and in Europe while doing fashion shoots for British and Italian Vogue. As he recalls: “I was living in Paris and I shot models in these incredible 18th-century houses.” Later he moved into shooting interiors for Elle Décor and Architectural Digest and then for Conde Nast Traveler and Departures. “I’ve worked on 70-something books, but this is the first book that I’ve written.”

The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks presented every Tuesday, of which the Estersohn is the concluding lecture, have been sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Cost to attend is $28 with advance reservation; $32 day of. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Call us at (413) 637-3206 for reservations.

Sep
14
Sat
Tea & Talk – “Well-Wheeled: How Gilded Age Cottagers Fueled Early Automobiling”
Sep 14 @ 3:30 pm

Berkshire historian Bernard Drew will put the petal to the subject of early automobiling here at the mansion. His presentation will be followed by a Victorian Tea. He will have copies of his new book on the subject available for autographing.

Three fascinating individuals weave in and out of the story: Alden Sampson II, a young go-getter who became a promising manufacturer in Pittsfield, first of automobiles, then of rugged commercial trucks; Marguerite Westinghouse of Lee, always a passenger, never a driver, ever a champion of Good Roads; and the over-the-top bon vivant Cortlandt Field Bishop of Lenox, who showed his neighbors — receptive or not — how much pleasure motorcars could bring. A spin behind the wheel coincided with discovering the Berkshire’s best new roads and reporting back to friends and family.

With their affluence (and influence), the three savored French automobiles. Sampson initially assembled Moyea touring cars — licensed from the French manufacturer Rochet-Schneider — before making his own-brand of vehicles. Mrs. W toured, naturally, in a Westinghouse limousine made by one of her husband George’s Gallic subsidiaries. Bishop and his younger brother, David Wolfe Bishop Jr., couldn’t wait to bring home the latest road machines made by De Dion-Bouton, Panhard et Levassor or Société Mors. Cortlandt’s all-terrain, track-driven Citroën-Kégresse Autoneige was the first to be imported to the United States.

Cost to attend is $28 with advance reservation; $32 day of. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Call us at (413) 637-3206 for reservations.