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.

Jul
10
Sun
CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE EVENT
Jul 10 all-day

CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE EVENT

Jul
12
Tue
Tea & Talk – Cecil Beaton, Famed British Photographer
Jul 12 @ 4:00 pm

In his lecture on Zoom, Hugo Vickers, well known as a biographer, lecturer, broadcaster and an acknowledged expert on the royal family, explains how Cecil Beaton turned himself into an extraordinary figure. Vickers will speak virtually via Zoom from England on Tuesday, July 12 at 4 pm. His presentation will be followed by a tea at Ventfort Hall.

Cecil Beaton (1904-80) was a total self-creation.  Through the art of photography he rose to become one of the great observers of the Twentieth Century, few of the most interesting people of his era escaping his lens.  His portraits of the Royal Family and of the stars of stage and screen are legendary.  He also became a designer of costumes and sets for stage, screen, opera and ballet, an artist, a wicked diarist, an arbiter of taste, and a man who moved easily in many varied worlds.  As such he captured the passing moment and portrayed the great figures of the age in both photographic and pen portraits.

Vickers has published his own diaries about researching Cecil Beaton, entitled Malice in Wonderland – a fascinating behind the scenes account of his adventures with various sources, including the Queen Mother, Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Stephen Tennant, Valentina Schlee, Princess Grace of Monaco and many more. He has written many biographies of 20th century figures, including Cecil Beaton, Vivien Leigh, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Andrew of Greece, and the Queen Mother.  His book, The Quest for Queen Mary, sold 40,000 copies in various forms.

He is called upon to commentate on important state occasions, and at times when the Royal Family are in the news.  He has covered events from the first wedding of the Prince of Wales, the funerals of Diana, the Queen Mother and Prince Philip, and many royal weddings. The Financial Times recently described him as: ‘the most knowledgeable royal biographer on the planet.’ He lives in London and Wiltshire and has three grown-up 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. Walk-ins accommodated as space allows. 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
19
Tue
Tea & Talk – The Gilded Age Rises Again in Troy, NY
Jul 19 @ 2:11 pm

Kathryn Sheehan, Rensselaer County & Troy City Historian will present an illustrated lecture on how Troy’s 19th century architecture became an integral backdrop to the Julian Fellows HBO series The Gilded Age. She will speak at Ventfort Hall on Tuesday, July 19 at 4 pm. A tea will follow her presentation

Kathryn worked with the location scouts and production designer on locations throughout the city as well as providing information on how Troy appeared during the Gilded Age, who the major players were in the city at the time that represented “old” money and “new” money.  Kathryn will also share some of the behind the scenes stories that happened during the filming for season one.

A native of Troy, New York, her career at the Hart Cluett Museum, formerly the Rensselaer County Historical Society began as an intern from the public history program at SUNY Albany in 1986.  As the Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian, Kathryn has researched and lectured on a number of Rensselaer County history topics and has presented her work on local radio and television as well as the History Channel, C-Span, Russian and Japanese Network television.  She resides in the historic district in downtown Troy. When not working on history tours and lectures Kathryn can be found exploring the many cemeteries in Rensselaer County or doing photography for her new book due out in 2023: Architecture Worth Saving in Rensselaer County: Revisited.

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. Walk-ins accommodated as space allows. 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
26
Tue
Tea & Talk – Forgotten Trailblazing Women of Lenox’s Gilded Age: Jennie Van DerZee Welcome, Painter, Filmmaker, & Entrepreneur
Jul 26 @ 4:00 pm

Local screenwriter and film historian Nannina Gilder will speak at Ventfort Hall on Tuesday, July 26 at 4 pm about Jennie Van DerZee, a forgotten trailblazing woman of Lenox’s Gilded Age. A tea will follow her presentation

Did you know one of the first African American women filmmakers was from Lenox? Went to Lenox High and Trinity Church? Jennie Van DerZee Welcome grew up on Hubbard Street with her four siblings, including Harlem Renaissance Photographer James Van DerZee, but while James was rediscovered in the 1960s and has been celebrated since, Jennie has been mostly forgotten.

Gilder will tell Jennie’s story, from a childhood in Lenox full of art and music, to her pursuit of higher education in painting, and her family’s journey down to Harlem in 1910, where she and her husband, Ernest Touissant Welcome, made “Doing Their Bit,” a multi-part documentary about African American soldiers in WWI. Under the name Madame Touissant Welcome, Jennie had vibrant career as a painter, photographer, and headmistress of an art and music conservatory. At the same time she and her husband were pioneers in New York real estate, helping African Americans own homes, and making inroads into neighborhoods that had been predominantly white. Jennie was a true trailblazer in every sense and deserves to take her place in art and film history.

Gilder is a screenwriter and film historian. In 2020 she gave a four part seminar, Invisible: Female Filmmakers before 1960, and Silhouette Animation: The Genius of Lotte Reiniger, a lecture on the pioneering animator, both at Ventfort Hall. The short film she wrote, Sproutland, premiered at the Florida Film Festival in 2021 and has won over a dozen awards. Her play The Curious Abduction of Mona Lisa was performed at Ventfort Hall in 2013.

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. Walk-ins accommodated as space allows. 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.

Aug
2
Tue
Tea & Talk – Architects of an American Landscape: The Interwoven Careers of H.H. Richardson and F.L.Olmsted
Aug 2 @ 4:00 pm

Hugh Howard, a historian who has written more than a dozen books about American architecture, will speak at Ventfort Hall on Tuesday, August 2 at 4 pm. A tea will follow his presentation.

Interweaving the late nineteenth century careers of Frederick Law Olmsted and Henry Hobson Richardson, Hugh Howard’s new book has been lauded as a “readable, intelligently paced, dual biography” by the Wall Street Journal.

Howard shows in Architects of an American Landscape how such different personalities as Richardson and Olmsted became close friends and collaborators. In conversation with local historian Cornelia Brooke Gilder, Howard will discuss Olmstedian landscapes and Richardson’s contribution to the built environment. Their talk will be accompanied by images of notable Richardson and Olmsted designs.

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. Walk-ins accommodated as space allows. 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.