Summer of Stockbridge: SO much to Celebrate!
50th Anniversaries for Chesterwood, Norman Rockwell Museum, And The Red Lion Inn
100th Anniversary of Austen Riggs Center
For nearly 300 years, Stockbridge has been a magnet for some of America’s most captivating and creative minds. Its charm, beauty and proximity to urban centers have helped establish it as a hub of tourism and culture, which defines our small town. This year we celebrate milestone anniversaries for 4 of the town’s most significant institutions: The Red Lion Inn, The Norman Rockwell Museum, Austen Riggs Center and Chesterwood. Learn more about the fascinating intersections between these organizations when you join us for the Summer of Stockbridge: A Season of Celebrations!
-The daughter of Daniel Chester French, Margaret French Cresson, was an accomplished sculptor in her own right; she was friends with Dr. Lawrence Kirby Lunt at Austen Riggs and sculpted his son, Larry, in 1924.
-In 1896 Daniel Chester French and wife Mary came to Stockbridge to look for a country home. They stayed at the Red Lion Inn and fell in love with Stockbridge.
-The Austen Riggs Alumni reunion was held at the Red Lion Inn in 1994.
-The Corner House was saved by Jane Fitzpatrick and the “Founding Mothers”, and the house evolved into the first Norman Rockwell Museum from 1969-1993. The Corner House was recently purchased by the Austen Riggs Center.
-Rockwell initially moved to Stockbridge in 1953 to be near the Austen Riggs Center, for his wife Mary’s treatment.
-Rockwell painted the Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge Firehouse and the Fitzpatricks, plus many other local residents including James Mower, long-time superintendent of the Austen Riggs Center, were his models, and several local scenes (Most notably Main Street at Christmas, when RLI was still closed during the winter months.)
-Rockwell developed a relationship with renowned psychoanalyst Erik Erikson; their professional relationship and friendship is explored in the Museum’s summer exhibition.
-Jack Fitzpatrick collected Rockwell signed prints and artist proofs, which are on view at the the Red Lion Inn.
-Rockwell painted several depictions of Abe Lincoln, including one with Daniel Chester French’s seated Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, featured during Rockwell’s Stockbridge years. French completed the 1916 plaster model for his Lincoln figure in his studio, which remains on view at Chesterwood, the artists’ home and studio in Stockbridge.
-Recognizing the role of the creative process as part of mental health, Joan Mowat Erikson introduced the Riggs Activity Program and Theatre 37 at the Riggs Lavender Door.
-There is correspondence between Margaret French Cresson and Norman Rockwell in the Chesterwood archives at Chapin Library, Williams College.
-In 1964, there was an exhibition on the work of Norman Rockwell at Chesterwood.
-Both the wife, Mary A. French, and daughter, Margaret French Cresson, of Daniel Chester French sought medical treatment from doctor’s at Austen Riggs, including Dr. Riggs himself.
For details on the Summer of Stockbridge Celebrations click on links below
Discover Williamstown – A Unique Village where art, culture, and natural beauty thrive. There’s no other place quite like it! Nestled in the westernmost corner of Massachusetts, it’s a short drive from NYC, Boston and Montreal.
PO Box 357
84 Spring Street
Williamstown, MA 01267
June 5, 2018
By Margaret D. Kerswill
Stockbridge (and beyond), Massachusetts – The season is upon us! Summer is just around the corner and the crowds of visitors to our glorious Berkshire Mountains’ communities grow a little larger each day.
For those of us living year round in The Berkshires, this is the time of year to check the calendars of our favorite seasonal cultural and outdoor venues and plan our outings. It’s also the time when free family and community days are announced; so, be sure to check in on your favorite institutions regularly to see what’s happening in and around Stockbridge.
Visit Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio and explore the home of American Abstract Artists George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen. Set on a 46-acre estate, view their paintings, frescoes, and sculpture and experience their exquisite collection of American and European Cubist Art. Learn more.
Saturday, June 9th, marks the FREE Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow Dance. Get excited for Festival 2018 with this pre-Festival, family-friendly afternoon of free dance classes taught by local and regional dance artists; dance-themed children’s activities and tours; and performances on the Inside/Out stage by regional studios and companies. Find the full festival schedule by clicking here.
Stroll the historic Merwin House and discover the summer home known as Tranquility to its former inhabitants, the Doane family of NY. Learn about Stockbridge’s history and discover the family’s collection of European and American furnishings. Today the location is also home to the Berkshires office of the Housatonic Valley Association, dedicated to protecting the Housatonic watershed.
Naumkeag House and Gardens is a pristine Gilded Age Cottage located in the heart of Stockbridge, MA, with 44 rooms in the main house and more than 10 acres of gardens designed by Fletcher Steele. Maintained by The Trustees of Reservations, Naumkeag offers a full season of activities for children and adults. Learn more about their music evenings and other events here. Both guided and self-guided tours of the house and grounds are available.
Norman Rockwell Museum is a must-see in Stockbridge, hosting the world’s largest collection of original Rockwell art as well as other featured American illustrators. Learn about the history of Rockwell’s artistic evolution; explore his work and studio; discover new artists; and take a guided historic property walk on the bucolic 36 acre site. Sunday June 10th is Berkshire Community Free Day. Residents will be able to view Shuffleton’s Barbershop while it remains temporarily in the Berkshires. View the NRM event schedule.
Whether you live here year round or you’re visiting The Berkshires, plan now for your late spring and summer cultural activities. Summer will soon be upon us!
The museums, gardens, and cultural institutions listed above are proud members of The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.
In and Around Stockbridge, Massachusetts: The Quintessential New England Town
he Berkshires is synonymous with snowy winter fun. So why not break out of your daily routine and hit the slopes at Ski Butternut?
Offering big-mountain skiing close to home, Ski Butternut has a full service ski and snowboard shop; ski school; eight lane tubing center; and two terrain parks. Whether you’re with your family or that special someone, there are plenty of winter activities to choose from.
Worried that you’re not really a skier or snowboarder, but still you’ve always wanted to try? Take a group or private lesson; learn the basics; and hit the slopes! Or, if that’s not quite your thing, try out the tubing center for all the thrill of the slopes with none of the necessary balance to stay on your feet! You’re never too old or too young to get started.
Spend the day. Have some fun. And remember, if you’re feeling romantic and decide to pop the question to your special someone on the slopes, Ski Butternut also hosts weddings! Make your special day an event your guests will never forget.
Ski Butternut, located at 380 State Road in Great Barrington, is a proud member of The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.
How you can have a Norman Rockwell Christmas in Mass. Main Street in Stockbridge will recreate the painting that made it famous. Boston.com
Stroll down Main Street in Stockbridge this Sunday, and you’ll feel as if you stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting. Literally.
The picturesque town in the Berkshires will recreate Rockwell’s 1967 painting, “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas)” during the 28th Annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas celebration Dec. 1-3. The weekend-long event attracts thousands of visitors each year, and about 2,500 visitors alone during Sunday’s recreation, said Barbara Zanetti, executive director of the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. The portion of the street in the painting will close to automobile traffic on Sunday between noon and 2 p.m. so guests can enjoy the scene.
Start your day in Stockbridge with breakfast at the Main Street Cafe (413-298-3060). While you are enjoying your waffles or omelet, know that you are (sort of) inside a painting by Norman Rockwell; the artist spent the last 25 years of his life in Stockbridge, and his portrayal of Main Street has become an iconic image of American small-town life. After breakfast, take a short, scenic drive up Route 183 to see the canvas version at the Norman Rockwell Museum (413-298-4100, nrm.org), the world’s largest collection of his work. Marvel at the detail in Rockwell’s original paintings as well as the room devoted to his covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Spend some time walking the scenic grounds, enjoying the outdoor sculptures and touring Rockwell’s studio. read more
Hike in the footsteps of literary giants like Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who spent time on the summit of Monument Mountain’s 1,642-foot Squaw Peak outside Great Barringtonin the Berkshires. From the top of cliffs, gaze upon a glorious landscape, including Mount Greylock and New York’s Catskills. Using the Hickey, Squaw Peak and Indian Monument trails from the Route 7 trailhead, hikers can navigate a nearly 3-mile loop along a former carriage road, by a jumbled boulder field and under cliffs. There are some abrupt pitches, but those Housatonic River Valley vistas are worth it. (thetrustees.org)