Jun
8
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Jun 8 @ 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.

Jun
11
Tue
Tea & Talk – “Chateau Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay, 1870 – 1920”
Jun 11 @ 4:00 pm

Former Boston Globe reporter and Pittsfield native Margo Miller will kick off our Summer 2019 series of Tea & Talks on Tuesdays with the subject of her new book Chateau Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay, 1870 – 1920.  She will make her visual presentation on Tuesday, June 11 at 4:00 pm followed by a Victorian tea.

Miller will center on Henry Lee Higginson (1834- 1919), founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1881 and creator of the Hotel Agassiz in 1874, “America’s first real apartment building,” among other major accomplishments.  Family members, friends, the tastes, culture, economics, architecture, society, public health and early transportation issues, recreations, sports and entertainments of the day create a full picture of the times. Insights into the planning of the Back Bay area and even its geological aspects are given the author’s attention.

Hotel Agassiz, inspired by upper-class apartment living in Europe, sometimes called “French flats,” was also known as “Chateau Higginson.” His partner in its development and his brother-in-law was Alexander Agassiz, the prominent scientist and engineer.

Miller has tied Higginson to each chapter in a city that held to its old-guard, close-knit relationships, including chapters on “Entertainment,” “Horses” and “Outdoors.” Higginson was an equestrian who hated the appearance of bicycles, while Frank W. Weston, the architect who designed the Hotel Agassiz, is known as “the father of American bicycling.”

A footnote: The author resides at Hotel Agassiz on Commonwealth Avenue, a multi-floor building possessing condominiums.

The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Cost to attend the Miller 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.

Jun
15
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Jun 15 @ 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.

Jun
18
Tue
Tea & Talk – “Egyptomania”
Jun 18 @ 4:00 pm

Our summer series of Tea & Talks continue with Dr. Bob Brier (“Mr. Mummy”), recognized as a foremost Egyptologist, who will examine the fascination with the ancient world along the Nile River.  He will cover the events that fanned the flames of “Egytomania” during the last two centuries in his visual presentation on Tuesday, June 18 at 4:00 pm.  A Victorian tea will follow his talk.

What were these events? There were Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign that led to a new decorative arts trend, the Suez Canal Big Dig and the carting of gigantic obelisks to Paris, London and New York. Brier states perhaps the greatest boost to Egyptomania was Howard Carter’s discovery and opening of Tutankhamen’s intact tomb. Later, in the 1970s, traveling exhibitions of the boy-king’s treasures kept the momentum going.

Brier will also discuss why Victorians were especially interested in ancient Egypt and will present many images of the collectibles that the fasciation inspired, from a beautiful Wedgwood Egyptian tea service to mechanical lead pencils in the shapes of mummies and coffins.

As Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Brier conducts pioneering research in mummification practices and has investigated some of the world’s most famous mummies, including King Tut, Vladimir Lenin, Ramses the Great, Eva Peron and the Medici family of Renaissance Italy.

In 1994, Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver using the exact techniques of the ancient Egyptians.  This research was the subject of a National Geographic TV special titled “Mr. Mummy.”

The speaker was the host of several award-winning television specials, including “Pyramids, Mummies & Tombs” and “Mummy Detective.” National Geographic TV presented his research in a documentary called “Secret of the Great Pyramid,” discussing a new theory of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built.  His research has been featured on such media venues as CNN, 60 Minutes and in the The New York Times.  His most recent book is Cleopatra’s Needles: The Lost Obelisks of Egypt. (Bloomsbury, 2016).

The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Cost to attend the Brier’s 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.

Jun
22
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Jun 22 @ 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.

Jun
25
Tue
Tea & Talk – “The Tragic Story of the Majestic Normandie Ocean Liner”
Jun 25 @ 4:00 pm

Author Richard René Silvin returns to the mansion to present a Tea & Talk on the subject of his latest book, Normandie, the Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner. He will make his visual presentation on Tuesday, June 25 at 4:00 pm.  Following will be a Victorian tea during which the speaker will autograph copies of his book.

His father was French and his mother was American. With lasting memories of crossing the Atlantic as a child accompanying his parents on such splendid ocean liners as Ile de France, the Queen Elizabeth and even the last completed crossing of the Andrea Doria, Silvin focuses on the French Line’s most glorious and glamorous flagship that first set sail from Le Havre on May 29, 1935.  Normandie died an inglorious death by fire at a New York dock on the Hudson River on February 10, 1942, two months after Pearl Harbor and with war ravaging in Europe.

Silvin introduces us to his book by stating, “The story of Normandie’s demise affected me deeply as a young child. I read as much as I could about her life and death. I studied her deck plans and craved hearing anyone’s stories about their crossing aboard her…I used to boast that, even though I had never set foot on Normandie, I could give tours of all her astonishing public rooms and many of her private suites.”

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 last year.  He is also the author of I Survived Swiss Boarding Schools: An Arc to Triumph and Villa Mizner: The House That Changed Palm Beach.

The summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Cost to attend the Silvin 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.

Jun
29
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Jun 29 @ 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.

SOLD OUT – Murder Mystery Dinner Theater – “Murder Maiden China,” Doors open at 5:00 pm. Program starts and first course served at 5:30 pm
Jun 29 @ 5:00 pm

SOLD OUT

The Comical Mystery Tour ensemble returns to the mansion with a new program, “Murder Maiden China,” and invites the public to join the fun on Saturday, June 29th. Doors open at 5:00 pm. Program starts and first course served at 5:30 pm.

Gertrude Ingrid Josephine Mattel, a.k.a. GI Jo, is running the Maiden China toy company since her father’s passing. He was well loved, but she is more of a dictator and has made some enemies. Actually, she doesn’t have many, if any friends, including her hen pecked husband, Lou Zerr. Her assistant, C. Alice Knightly, is more like a slave. Goldie Digger, Lou’s “secretary,” has no good feelings towards her, she thinks, well maybe she doesn’t, what were we talking about? Charlie Brown III is the delivery guy for “This Side UP” package service. She calls him names every time he makes a delivery. Someone gets sick of it and GI Joe ends up in permanent retirement. Come along for the ride and help figure who offed Joe.

In production since 1995, The Comical Mystery Tour has had over 50,000 audience members viewing and/or participating in their programs. The ensemble appears regularly at Ventfort Hall.

Cost to attend is $40 per person including a full course dinner. A cash bar is available for beer and wine. Reservations are required by Wednesday, June 26th. Seating is limited.  For information or reservations call us at 413-637-3206.

Jul
2
Tue
Tea & Talk – “Posting It, or Networking, Victorian Style”
Jul 2 @ 4:00 pm

Revolutionary then, but a common everyday event today, Prof. Catherine J. Golden will put the stamp on “Posting It, or Networking, Victorian Style,” based on her book Posting It: The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing. She will autograph copies of her book during a Victorian tea following her presentation.

Before e-mails, Instagram, Facebook and blogs, letter writing was the only way to communicate with a broad audience.  The recipient, not the sender, paid to receive a letter at the time of delivery.  So high were postage rates in early Victorian Britain—determined by the number of pages in the letter and the route a letter traveled—that many people dreaded the postman’s knock.

But all that changed with the Penny Post established in 1840.  In London by 1860, there were 12 postal deliveries a day, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Letter writing—no longer a privilege for the wealthy—became an affordable way to connect with family, friends and beyond.

“Posting It, or Networking, Victorian Style” presents the story of this revolutionary change.  Through a PowerPoint presentation and material objects on display, we will journey with Golden to Victorian England to see the first adhesive postage stamp, called the Penny Black, which allowed letters up to ½ ounce to travel anywhere in the UK for only a penny. Stamps and prepayment quickly became the model for other nations including the United States, which issued its first stamps in 1847.

George Elgar Hicks’s narrative painting The General Post Office:  One Minute to Six (1860)—on the cover of Posting It—shows the relevance of the Penny Post for networking in Victorian times and our time. The painting serves as a point of origin for computer-mediated communication (CMC), complete with the excitement, challenges, and dangers that users experience today.

Golden will consider, too, how the Penny Post brought blessings and problems relevant in the twenty-first century. It facilitated family ties, promoted business, and spread information to an ever-widening postal “network”— but it also became a tool for blackmail, slander, unsolicited mass mailings and junk mail. The Penny Post anticipates and was as revolutionary to the Victorians in sending letters, newspapers, books and other information as e-mail, text messages, and blogs are to us today.

Golden is professor of English and the Tisch Chair in Arts and Letters at Skidmore College.  She is author of Serials to Graphic Novels:  The Evolution of the Victorian Illustrated Book (2017) and Images of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction (2003).  She is editor or coeditor of five additional books on topics ranging from Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Victorian illustration, literature and culture and a regular contributor to Illustration Magazine, a British arts journal.

Posting It received the 2010 DeLong Book History Prize for the best book on any aspect of the creation, dissemination, or uses of script or print awarded by SHARP, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.  Autographed paperback copies of Posting It and Serials to Graphic Novels will be available for purchase at the tea.

The summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Tickets for the Golden 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.

Jul
6
Sat
Drop in Yoga at the Mansion Saturday Mornings at 8am
Jul 6 @ 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.