Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 26, 2017

Williamstown & North Adams by Day

by Shera Cohen

Just when friends ask me if I’m too old to jam pack so many cultural activities into one day, I defy the odds. Thursday, July 20th was one of those average days; the trip being Williamstown and neighboring North Adams.

Orchestrating Elegance
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA
No museum in the U.S. (in my opinion) does grace and style better than Clark. “Orchestrating Elegance: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and the Marquand Music Room” is the personification of sophistication in wood, design, textiles, sculpture, and drawings. The intricately designed Steinway piano is its centerpiece. One can’t help but “ooh and aah.” To be fair to yourself, don’t rush through, take at least 3-4 hours to appreciate all that there is to offer.

Williams College of Art, Williamstown, MA
On the campus of Williams College, this museum is open year-round to the public. The range of art genres on exhibition is varied. On this day, we saw numerous donations made by former students; some acquisitions bearing the names of a who’s who in the art world. Admission is free. BTW, the gift shop is one of the most all-inclusive in the Berkshires.
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace, Adams, MA
Our docent is so enthusiastic in relating the story of Susan B. that you would think that they met and were on a first name basis. One of the first feminists, suffragette, abolitionist, and temperance member, Anthony’s home and rural community is, to some degree, translated to tell visitors of this woman’s background and what and why she pursued controversial subject of her day.

MassMoCA, North Adams, MA
Nick Cave
Big is the word. The building. The art installations. The ambition by staff, curators, and artists. In fact, an additional wing was added this year to the existing building. I’m not particularly keen on “big” when art is the subject. However, Nick Cave’s “Until” (leaving in September) is a sparkling, whimsical forest of spinning colorful objects, and foil hanging from ceiling to floor. Visitors walk along a path through this amazing maze. It’s hard to leave.