Cornelia Brooke Gilder returns to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to give a talk on “The Brushwood Farm Story.” Her lecture is scheduled for Saturday, November 6 at 3:30 pm.
As the Town of Lenox considers a new housing proposal for the long-underused Brushwood Farm property on Route 7, local historian Cornelia Brooke Gilder will take us back to the days when it was the working farm of the Godwin sisters. Drawing on albums and art portfolios in archives in New York State and Georgia, Gilder will recapture the era of the athletic, creative and public-spirited Elizabeth (Lovie) and Frances (Tiny) Godwin, great, granddaughters of the influential newspaper editor, William Cullen Bryant.
The Godwins renamed the Federal style Lenox farmhouse of the Root family, Brushwood, and from 1915 to 1975 it was a gracious gathering place with extensive flower gardens and rockery behind (now a parking lot for Your Color Connection and Personal Body Precision). Brushwood’s barns sheltered their pedigreed horses and in the studio Frances honed her talent as an equine sculptor.
The Godwin sisters were active in Lenox Horse Shows, parades and flower shows and were founders of “Berkshire Industries” an enterprise based at the Lenox Academy to market locally-made handicrafts, metalwork, pottery and art during the Great Depression.
Gilder has co-authored with Richard S. Jackson, Jr., Houses of the Berkshires, 1870 – 1930, named an honor book by Historic New England; authored Edith Wharton’s Lenox; co-authored with Julia Conklin Peters Hawthorne’s Lenox: The Tanglewood Circle, and with Joan Olshansky A History of Ventfort Hall. Gilder also contributed to the exhibition A Walk in the Country: George Inness and the Berkshires on view at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
Tickets for the Gilder talk are $20 per person. $10 tickets for students with a college ID ages 18-23 or children under 18. 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.