Events and Exhibits

Various exhibits from the historical collection are on display throughout the Library.  The Museum’s staff and volunteers also regularly hold programs related to Stockbridge history.

Current Exhibit:

“Margaret French Cresson: Her Artistic Life and Legacy in Preserving Chesterwood”

Chesterwood, the home, studio and gardens of sculptor Daniel Chester French, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special exhibition recognizing French’s daughter, Margaret French Cresson (1889–1973) as an artist in her own right as well as honoring her dedication to preserving Chesterwood. “Margaret French Cresson: Her Artistic Life and Legacy in Preserving Chesterwood” will be on display at The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives from March 1 through April 30, 2019.

French, most well-known for his sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., divided his time between New York City and Stockbridge, where he and his family spent their summers starting in 1897.  His only child Margaret enjoyed entertaining friends in the country and often sculpted alongside her father in his studio.  After French and his wife, Mary, passed away, Margaret inherited Chesterwood, making it her full-time home in the 1950s.  Passionate about keeping her father’s artistic legacy alive, she donated Chesterwood, with the exception of the Residence where she lived until her death in 1973, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., which opened the property as a historic site to the public on June 9, 1969.  After Cresson’s death in 1973, the Residence and its contents became the property of the National Trust as well.

“Margaret French Cresson: Her Artistic Life and Legacy in Preserving Chesterwood” will feature historical photographs that illustrate Cresson’s life at Chesterwood: modeling for her father, socializing with friends and family, and creating sculpture in the studio, as well as photographs of her as the “keeper” of Chesterwood.  The exhibition will also highlight her work as a sculptor through portrait reliefs, small bronzes, exhibition photographs and catalogues.  Other personal objects, such as diaries, scrapbooks, writings, and ephemera will contribute to an understanding of Cresson’s life and her involvement in civic activities in Stockbridge and the Berkshires at large.

“Margaret French Cresson’s remarkable life as the daughter of a famous American artist was shaped by Chesterwood and the Berkshire community which she eventually called home.  It seems only fitting as we celebrate the site’s 50th anniversary that we acknowledge her role in preserving Chesterwood as well as her own creative pursuits,” said Donna Hassler, Chesterwood’s executive director and co-curator of the exhibition.

This exhibition will include objects from the Chesterwood collections and the Chesterwood Archives, courtesy of the Chapin Library at Williams College.  The exhibition has been co-curated by Hassler and Dana Pilson, curatorial researcher, both of Chesterwood, and Valerie Balint, program manager of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios.  Additional assistance was provided by Isabella Browne Lorcher, Chesterwood intern.

The following exhibition-related programming will take place at the Stockbridge Library and is free to the public.  Check for additional programming or changes at www.chesterwood.org/calendar

  • Friday, March 1, 5:00 p.m., exhibition opening reception with remarks by the curators
  • Friday, March 8, 6:00 p.m., an illustrated lecture by Valerie Balint, “Keepers of the Flame: Women Behind Preserving Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios”
  • Friday, April 5, 6:00 p.m., an illustrated lecture by Dana Pilson, “Margaret French Cresson: Growing up at Chesterwood, Her Life, Loves and Loss”

About Chesterwood

Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is the former summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1871-75) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1911-22) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Chesterwood is notably one of the earliest venues in the United States to showcase large-scale works in an outdoor setting.  Since 1978, close to 600 emerging and established artists’ works have been exhibited at Chesterwood.  Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Mass., the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973).  Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark.

There will be a free opening reception, Friday, March 1 from 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by the Chesterwood Advisory Council. The exhibition has been generously sponsored, in part, by Owen Lewis and Susan Ennis, and Sohn Fine Art.

The exhibit will be on view in the Procter Gallery March 1 through April 30, 2019 during normal Library hours.


Friday, March 29 at 6:00 pm

Berkshire Chamber Players Concert

The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives is pleased to present a Berkshire Chamber Players concert series, generously sponsored by The Sherman-Chester Wealth Management Group.  The final concert in the 2018-2019 season will take place on Friday, March 29, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets will be available at the Library on a first-come, first-served basis; space is limited and advance ticket purchases are encouraged.  Tickets are $20 each.  Please call the Library at 413-298-5501 with any questions.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.  Any unclaimed seats will be made available to those on the wait-list five minutes before the performance.

Featuring:

Natalie Kress, violin

Kathryn Andersen, violin

Charlotte Malin, viola

Ronald Feldman, cello

Ran Kampel, clarinet

Mozart  – Serenade in G, “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” K. 525

Penderecki  –  Quartet for clarinet and string trio

Pesson  –  Nebenstück for clarinet and string quartet

Mozart  –  Quintet for clarinet and strings in A, K. 581

Twice winner of the American Symphony League’s ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music, Ronald Feldman has achieved critical acclaim for his work as conductor and cellist.  He has appeared as guest conductor with major orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, and the Quebec Symphony, as well as many regional orchestras including the Pro Arte Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Albany Symphony, and the Amarillo Symphony.  In August of 2016 Mr. Feldman recorded three albums of music by Kevin Kaska with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

After successful appearances as guest conductor for three consecutive seasons at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony’s summer home, composer and Conductor John Williams appointed Mr. Feldman Assistant Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.  He served as assistant to John Williams from 1989-1993.

In 2001 Mr. Feldman left the Boston Symphony Orchestra to pursue other musical interests. He currently directs the Berkshire Symphony, a regional orchestra in residence at Williams College.  He was formerly the conductor and Music Director of the New England Philharmonic and the Worcester Orchestra.  He is on the faculties of Williams College, the New England Conservatory of Music, and The Boston Conservatory of Music. 2012 marked the beginning of his tenure as Music Director of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of Boston’s medical community.

Praised by The New York Times for her “splendid playing,” Natalie Kress has already begun a successful career as a violinist, highlights of which include performing at the Kennedy Center Honors with Yo Yo Ma in 2016; winning the 2012 Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center; and performing in Carnegie Hall in 2010. Natalie received her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology and Master in Music from Stony Brook University (where she studied with Soovin Kim) and is Co-Artistic Director of Three Village Chamber Players, which performs free chamber music and outreach concerts throughout Long Island and New York State.  Also a baroque violinist, Natalie has performed with members of Handel and Haydn Society and The Sebastians, and has studied with Beth Wenstrom, Aisslinn Nosky, and Robert Mealy.

Charlotte Malin has recently completed a master’s degree at New England Conservatory as a student of Kim Kashkashian.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Northwestern University.  In 2013, during the final year of her undergraduate study with Almita Vamos, she fell in love with the viola.  As a violist, she recently became Principal Viola of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and also plays with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.  Charlotte has played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the New World Symphony in Miami.  She was invited three times to be a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, won a fellowship with A Far Cry chamber orchestra, and was a member of NEC’s top ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra.  Charlotte has a passion for chamber music and has been an artist at the Newport Music Festival and Fest’Inventio, a chamber series in Paris.  As a violinist, she appeared as a soloist with both the Northwestern Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, as well as the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Charlotte is an ardent yoga practitioner and intends to share her insights into the connections of mind, body, and spirit with the broader music community as her career unfolds.  She currently lives in a cabin in the woods in Chatham, NY, where she makes a daily practice of seeking beauty and truth.

Kathryn Andersen is a violinist from Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  She received her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.  She studied with Ronald Copes, Peter Zazofsky, and James Buswell.

Kathryn spent three summers as a Violin Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center where she worked alongside the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  An active chamber and orchestral musician, Kathryn has performed throughout the United States and internationally in Asia and Europe.

A dedicated teacher as well, Kathryn taught in New York City public schools as a Teaching Artist through the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.  Kathryn also spent six years as a violin and viola instructor at a private school in New York City where she founded and directed the First Orchestra, a training orchestra for the school’s youngest musicians.  She is a past participant in Lincoln Center Education’s Teaching Artist Development Lab and has presented at the International Teaching Artist Conference. Kathryn has worked as a Senior Curriculum Specialist for The Juilliard School’s Global K–12 Programs since 2015, writing and designing music curriculum and supporting its successful implementation in schools globally.

Israeli born clarinetist Ran Kampel is the Principal Clarinet of the Jacksonville Symphony.  Prior to his appointment in Jacksonville, he was the Interim Principal Clarinet of the Grand Rapids Symphony and a fellow with the New World Symphony.  During his time at New World Symphony, he won the concerto competition and performed the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto with the orchestra on subscription concerts.  During the summers, Ran has performed at Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Tanglewood, Yellow Barn, Krzyżowa-Music, Lakes Area, Aspen, Norfolk, Colorado College, Britten–Pears, Sarasota and Breckenridge music festivals.

A teacher in high demand, Ran has lead masterclasses around the world, including at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Academia Filarmónica de Medellín (AFMED) in Colombia and Givatyim Music Conservatory in Israel.  Ran received degree with high honors from USC Thornton School of Music and the Eastman School of Music.  His primary teachers were Yehuda Gilad, Jon Manasse, Andrew Brown and Eva Wasserman-Margolis.

Ran is a Buffet Crampon USA Performing Artist and exclusively plays on Buffet Crampon clarinets. Outside the concert hall, he enjoys cooking, skiing, hiking, playing tennis and soccer.

Music Coordinator John Perkel has spent the past 35 years as an orchestra librarian for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. In addition, during summers, John served as the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra Librarian where he had the privilege of working with some of the most talented and wonderful young musicians from all over the world. After the 2016 Tanglewood season, John retired from the Boston Symphony and moved with his wife, Barbara, back to the Berkshires. Prior to his employment in the orchestra world, John was a music teacher at the Berkshire Hills Regional School District and also was employed as a psychiatric worker at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge.

About our sponsor: For more than 30 years, The Sherman-Chester Wealth Management Group has been helping individuals, families, and non-profits to achieve their financial goals.  Through comprehensive planning and ongoing portfolio management, clients receive solutions tailored to their unique circumstances and needs.


Tuesday, April 16 at 6:30 pm

Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Stockbridge

Have you ever driven down streets in Stockbridge, passed an interesting house, and wondered why it was there and who had lived in it?  This winter, the Stockbridge Library’s Museum & Archives once again will offer a series of programs about the interesting people who have made their homes in Stockbridge over the years.  Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Stockbridge will feature current Stockbridge homeowners talking about the families who lived in their houses before them.  Each program will include stories of two existing homes, as well as one other home that has been lost over the years.

Join us on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. for the third program in our 2019 series.  Program details to follow.