The Berkshires are arguably most famous for Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the host of summer music education centers. Today Tanglewood annually draws over 350,000 visitors. Experience a vast range of musical forms and styles, all of it presented with a regard for artistic excellence that makes the festival unique.
Close by in Stockbridge you’ll find the Norman Rockwell Museum, which is dedicated to the enjoyment and study of Rockwell’s work and his contributions to society, popular culture, and social commentary. The Museum houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell’s work, including 574 original paintings and drawings.
For the contemporary art lovers out there, the Berkshires are full of museums and galleries for every taste. In North Adams, the cutting edge Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is on a 13-acre former industrial site. Since opening in 1999, it has become one of the world’s premier centers for making and displaying the best art of our time, from large display murals to sound and light installations to performance art. More than 80 major new works of art and more than 50 performances have been created through fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams.
Just up the road in Williamstown is the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. Building upon the founders’ legacy, the Institute has recently unveiled its master plan for the twenty-first century, which fosters the Clark’s commitment to providing space for expanding research and museum programs while maintaining the unique character of its beautiful rural setting.
Just outside the vibrant city of Pittsfield, history lovers will find Hancock Shaker Village, a beautifully restored 19th Century town, set amongst acres of farm, woodland and pasture. Graceful Shaker furniture, craft and household items are exhibited in 20 historic buildings. The Round Stone Barn is a testament to Shaker efficiency, innovation and design. See the Village come to life through tours, exhibitions, demonstrations and participatory activities.
Theatre is plentiful as well – from the Williamstown Theatre Festival to Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge and Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. This is Broadway caliber theatre on intimate stages. You’ll see stars of today and tomorrow in award-winning and brand-new performances.
The Berkshire mountains have that name for a reason – from lovely foothills to the highest mountain in Massachusetts, Mt. Greylock. At 3,491 feet, Greylock rises above the surrounding Berkshire landscape, offering dramatic views of 60-90 miles distant. Bascom Lodge at its summit is a rustic stone and wood Lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930′s to provide accommodations for hikers, vacationers, and nature enthusiasts. It has private and group rooms available for overnight stay. The large dining room with its high ceiling and hand-cut oak beams offers lunch and dinner. An enclosed porch with wraparound windows overlooks the finest views in the Berkshires. mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/mgry.htm