Sep
14
Tue
Tuesday Talk at Ventfort Hall and on Zoom – “Showcasing 18th Century, Victorian & Jazz Age Fashions”
Sep 14 @ 4:00 pm

Diane Shewchuk, Curator at the Albany Institute of History & Art, will provide at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum and via Zoom a glimpse into what is involved in the creation of exhibitions featuring historic clothing.  She will make her presentation on September 14 at 4:00 pm concluding our 2021 Tuesday Talk series.

In this lively behind-the-scenes presentation, Shewchuk will discuss how dresses made of fragile silks and beaded chiffons are carefully put on mannequins. She will also talk about creating the proper silhouette and show you secrets of the dress trade by looking inside dresses from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries with an emphasis on Victorian dresses made by Charles Frederick Worth.

In her exhibition, “Well Dressed in Victorian Albany,” Shewchuk shared fifty examples from the Albany Institute’s extensive collection of 19th century clothing. Examples of late 18th and early 19th century garments were included in her exhibition “The Schuyler Sisters and Their Circle.” On August 28, the museum will have showcased other dresses from the collection in the exhibition “Fashionable Frocks: The Look of the 1920s.” Shewchuk’s presentation at Ventfort Hall will shine a spotlight of some of the amazing garments that were included in these three exhibitions.

Shewchuk has more than thirty years of experience working in the museum and historic house field in New York State with both collections-based and public programming. She has held the positions of Curator at Clermont State Historic Site, Historic Site Manager at John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Curator and then Director at the Columbia County Historical Society before joining the Albany Institute of History & Art. She has curated numerous exhibitions on a variety of themes.

The admission for the Shewchuk talk is $20 per person either in attendance at Ventfort Hall or via Zoom.  To order on Zoom visit https://ventfort09142021.eventbrite.com To attend at Ventfort Hall reservations are strongly recommended. Call us at (413) 637-3106. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.  The Summer 2021 series of Tuesday Talks is sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Sep
18
Sat
CANCELLED – Demonstration and Talk – “Get Ready with Me: Gibson Girl”
Sep 18 @ 2:00 pm

CANCELLED

Pittsfield hair stylist, Kate Baisley, of Kate Audrey Artistry, will present a brief history of the beauty trends, routines and cosmetics of the Edwardian era, followed by a hair and makeup demonstration on a live costumed model at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Saturday, September 18 at 2 pm. Baisley’s presentation coincides with the mansion’s “The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon” exhibit now on view and with ArtWeek Berkshires that takes place September 16 – 26.

Charles Dana Gibson, the most talented and successful commercial artist between 1890 and 1920, created an ideal American woman, so lovely that she would become for all time the symbol of her own age – The Gibson Girl.  Tall, elegant, independent and strong, she was competent either on a bicycle or in the ballroom.  She was a national treasure, a definition of style that taught an entire generation of women how to walk, talk and dress.

Kate will show her audience how this woman became the first standard of beauty for American women; the timeless beauty of the classic Gibson Girl look. Kate’s audience will learn about the hair and make-up products that were in use during the time; learn how to create the hair shape and silhouettes that were the rage, and understand the evolution of beauty products and modern substitutions to achieve similar Gilded Age results.

Kate has trained with top New York stylists and has been a member of the Aveda New York Fashion Week team.  She is also a member of the Ventfort Hall board of directors.

Admission is $25.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call us at 413-637-3206.

Sep
24
Fri
Paranormal Investigation – “Walking Amongst the Shadows at Ventfort Hall”
Sep 24 @ 7:00 pm – 11:45 pm

David Raby returns for another paranormal investigation of the historic and haunted Ventfort Hall.  Join him on Friday evening, September 24 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.  Social distancing will be practiced.  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 at (413) 637-3206 for reservations. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event. All of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the preservation and restoration of Ventfort Hall.

Sep
25
Sat
CANCELLED – Talk – “The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon”
Sep 25 @ 3:30 pm

Program committee member Tom Hayes will give a visual presentation on “The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon,” covering the life of the famed artist, his work and his wife and model, Irene, at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Saturday, September 25 at 3:30 pm. Hayes’s talk coincides with the mansion’s exhibit of the same title, now on view, and with ArtWeek Berkshires that takes place September 16 – 26.

Charles Dana Gibson, the most talented and successful commercial artist between 1890 and 1920, created an ideal American woman, so lovely that she would become for all time the symbol of her own age – The Gibson Girl.  Tall, elegant, independent and strong, she was competent either on a bicycle or in the ballroom.  She was a national treasure, a definition of style that taught an entire generation of women how to walk, talk and dress.

Hayes has lectured extensively, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, Berkshire Institute for Lifetime Learning and Elder Hostel.  He served as president of Edith Wharton Restoration at The Mount and is presently co-owner of Classical Excursions, a specialty tour company.

Admission is $20.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call us at 413-637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event.

Oct
2
Sat
CANCELED – Hat Decorating Workshop
Oct 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

CANCELED

To complement our exhibit “The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon,” Ventfort Hall is hosting a hat decorating workshop with Nancy Whelan, a graphic designer and decorative artist. Please join us for an afternoon of creativity as we adorn hats reminiscent of the elaborate headpieces worn in Edwardian times and often pictured in Charles Dana Gibson’s illustrations.

From the opulent “Merry Widow” to the simple straw boater, participants will create their own fashionable Gibson Girl style hat. Ventfort Hall will provide hats and trims – silk flowers, feathers, ribbon and lace. Nancy, who is a staff member at Ventfort Hall, will guide the workshop and have samples and images from the era as inspiration.

Whelan has had a life-long passion for all things Gilded Age. She enjoys researching historical fashions and creating clothing and costumes from many periods. At Ventfort Hall she coordinates our group tours, lunches and teas, as well as decking our halls for the holidays with Victorian flair.

Tickets for the workshop are $35 per person and include the cost of materials. Reservations are required. Call us at 413-637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event.

Ghost Tour – This is a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.
Oct 2 @ 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.

Oct
8
Fri
BOTH DATES SOLD OUT – Ghost Tour – This is a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.
Oct 8 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 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 a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.

The tours will take place on October 8 and 15 at 5:00 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.

Oct
9
Sat
CANCELED – Talk – “The Making of a Cosmopolitan Capital: Washington, D.C. from Frontier Town to Global Metropolis”
Oct 9 @ 3:30 pm

Prof. Gary H. Darden returns to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to give a visual presentation on “The Making of a Cosmopolitan Capital:  Washington, D.C. from Frontier Town to Global Metropolis.” His lecture is scheduled for Saturday, October 9 at 3:30 pm.

With the establishment of Washington, D.C. in 1790 as the site of a brand-new capital city, the once dirt-road frontier city of the fragile American Republic emerged from the ashes of the War of 1812 to become a political center for a burgeoning continental empire and eventually a global colossus by the Cold War era. According to Darden, the scale and scope of its civic architecture and cultural assets soon matched its economic and political weight on par with its European counterparts.

In 2016, Darden lectured at Ventfort Hall on the decline of the British aristocracy leading up to World War I and a year later presented a talk on the architectural rivalries within the Vanderbilt family. Thereafter he covered the White House from presidential palace to the people’s palace.

Darden chairs the Department of Social Sciences & History at Fairleigh Dickinson, Becton College of Arts & Sciences, Madison, NJ.  He was awarded Teacher of the Year at the college.

His scholarly work includes articles for journals, encyclopedias and the historical text for the book, The American Soldier: From the Civil War to the War in Iraq, A Photographic Tribute, which accompanied a major exhibit touring the US.  Darden was also a moderator with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

Tickets for the Darden talk are $20 per person. Reservations for attending the talk are required by calling 413-637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event.

Oct
15
Fri
BOTH DATES SOLD OUT – Ghost Tour – This is a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.
Oct 15 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 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 a fun filled tour with tales of ghost encounters, not a ghost hunt.

The tours will take place on October 8 and 15 at 5:00 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.

Oct
29
Fri
HALLOWEEN WEEKEND AT THE HAUNTED HALL
Oct 29 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Ventfort Hall will be decorated for Halloween weekend, Friday, October 29 through Sunday, October 31, 2021. Visit our haunted Hall adorned with the spookiest of decorations!

The mansion, the perfect atmosphere for Halloween, will be open from 10am – 3pm on Friday and Saturday for regular self-guided tours. After dark extended hours for regular self-guided tours will be from 5pm-8pm on Friday! On Sunday, the house will be open from 10am-4pm for regular self-guided tours.

Ventfort Hall will also welcome families to visit the house at no charge on Friday and Saturday from 3pm – 5pm. Entry will be every 15 minutes as space allows. The first floor of the house will be open, with a Halloween scavenger hunt for children. Wear your Halloween costume and have the perfect photo opportunity for memories for years to come!

Two special ticketed events are planned for the weekend. Each requires reservations. Masks that cover both the mouth and nose are required and social distancing will be practiced during each event.

David Raby returns Saturday night, October 30, for a ghost hunt from 7 pm to midnight. Non-refundable tickets are $38 per person with a reduced rate of $20 for ages 12 – 18 and 19-23 with student ID.  Space is limited.

On Sunday, October 31, Robert Oakes will conduct a special ghost tour from 5 to 7 pm. Non-refundable tickets are $30 per person.

Please note that all tickets for the Saturday, October 30th ghost hunt and the Sunday, October 31st ghost tour are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for either event and space is limited.  For reservations call Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206.