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Mass MoCA Launches Confluence Campaign

Some $13.56 of $30 Million Matched to States $25.4 Million

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/18/2014
Yesterday's lively press conference at Mass MoCA, announcing the $54.4 million Confluence Campaign, was preempted by a news leak of an embargoed press release by Geoff Edgers of the Washington Post. While that story provided a tantalizing overview the press conference covered many of the complex and exciting details. This updates our prior reports with more to follow.

Tom Reney's 30 Years as WFCR Jazz DJ

NEPR Endowment for Continued Jazz Programming

read Tom Reney's 30 Years as WFCR  Jazz DJ
By: Edward J. Bride - 11/20/2014
Jazz à la Mode has been a staple of WFCR-FM’s offerings –and Tom Reney its only host-- since the station’s inception of jazz programming in 1984. The NPR affiliate, which operates under the aegis of New England Public Radio, recently relocated from the environs of Reney’s alma mater, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, to become part of the downtown Springfield scene.

Laurie Anderson’s Mass MoCA Project

Part of Phase Three Museum Expansion

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/20/2014
Mass MoCA a kunsthalle or non collecting museum established a new paradigm when it opened 25-year-long, large scale installations of works by Sol LeWitt and Anselm Kiefer. Now six more A list artists are planned including space for multi media performance artist Laurie Anderson. During the recent media event to announce these ambitious projects we spoke with Anderson about her ongoing relationship with MoCA and the Berkshires.

Figurative Expressionist Artist Jay Milder

Unblotting the Rainbow

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 11/20/2014
Jay Milder came of age during the Second Generation of the New York School as one of the seminal Figurative Expressionist painters and one of the SoHo loft pioneers. Today Milder's influence on painting is widespread and he has been cited as influence of both Neo-Expressionism in the United States and the graffiti art movement in Brazil.

Brainy Funny Ruby Wax At Oberon

Absolutely Fabulous Writer/Actor Speaks Neuroscience

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By: Mark Favermann - 11/20/2014
American comedian/writer/television host Ruby Wax's Out Of Her Mind is a hilarious and a bit dark show. Brash but thoughtful, she touches on the contemporay toxins of envy, fame, television, getting rich, getting the perfect body, marriage, careers, the insatiable drive to win. And above all, staying busy while looking like you’re actually accomplishing something is a special annoyance. Ruby has written for and co-edited every episode of the British TV comedy Absolutely Fabulous, and her best-selling memoir How Do You Want Me? is a classic autobiography. She is a special talent.

James Turrell at Mass MoCA

Light Years for Planned Installation

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/21/2014
James Turrell is best known for developing Roden Crater in Arizona as an epic scaled celestial observatory and light work. The project is incomplete and not accessible to visitors. But it is the heart and soul of work that is world renowned. In 2013 there was a touring retrospective of his work. The approximate scale of that exhibition, some 32,000 square feet, will be used for a 25-year-long Turrell installation at Mass MoCA.

Poem for My Birthday


read Poem for My Birthday
By: Jane Hudson - 11/21/2014
Days separate the births of Jane Hudson and Charles Giuliano. For many years they celebrated when she roasted a duck.

Peter Dean: Life on the Edge of the World

The Figurative Expressionist Comes Full Circle

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 11/22/2014
Peter Dean was a major force in the New York City art scene during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. He co-founded two distinct socially conscious art groups, showed in major galleries, and exhibited at the US Pavilion at the 41st Venice Biennale. A current exhibition in Chelsea gives us a rare and thrilling look into Dean's world.

‘Birdman’ is Almost Wholly Original

Hollywood Celebrity Struggles on Broadway

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By: Christopher Johnson - 11/22/2014
Michael Keaton is the celebrity star of a series of comic book films as the super hero Birdman. At mid career he hopes to prove himself as a director and thespian on Broadway. In what seems like doomed ambition he risks enerything. The bitchy Times critic during a bar confrontation reveals plans to write a brutal review intended to close down the show. She has a thing, truly justified, about Hollywood taking over Broadway. Keaton and supporting actor, Ed Norton, give potentially Oscar nominated performances.

Moosh Magique

Berkshire Tripping

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/22/2014
Through the bitter cold Berkshire night the spirit of Moosh Magique danced in the hearth. La vida loca.


The Rarest French Wine

read Vintage
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/22/2014
A Berkshires Christmas Eve on Mt. Shango. Experiencing two rare bottles of 1940s French wine.

Abstract Expressionist Arshile Gorky

Exploring Boston/ Watertown Armenian Heritage

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Fine Arts
By: Martin Mugar - 11/11/2014
Arshile Gorky painted several portraits of himself with his mother. They were based on a precious photograph. She died during the Armenian Genocide. The child emigrated to America and grew up in the Boston/ Watertown Armenian community. The artist, Martin Mugar, discusses family tradition and his Armenian heritage as it relates to the early years and art education of the seminal abstract expressionist.

Odets' Stirring Awake and Sing! At Huntington

Depression Era Drama About Dysfunctional Family

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By: Mark Favermann - 11/12/2014
Set in a cramped Bronx apartment, three generations of a working-class Jewish family are frustrated in their dreams of a brighter future. Matriarch Bessie Berger's fierce determination keeps her family afloat, whatever the cost. Gritty, passionate, funny, and heartbreaking, With outstanding performances, Odets' 1935 drama captures both the hopes, disappointments and struggles of a memorable American family.

Tanglewood 2015

Let the Games Begin

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By: BSO - 11/13/2014
Here is the run down on the 2015 Tanglewood Season. Clip and save.

Disruptive Innovation

God as a California Genius with a Garage Band

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By: Arnie Reisman - 11/14/2014
The Poet Laureate of Martha's Vineyard and distinguished journalist Arnie Reisman takes a fresh look at the muth of Creation. In this take God is a California genius with a garage band including Adam on guitar, Eve for vocals and the Snake on drums.

Three Current Films

Gone Girl, St. Vincent and CitizenFour

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By: Jack Lyons - 11/14/2014
In today’s world of $100 and $200 million dollar budgets, filmmakers only get one or maybe two shots at it. Thus, the “safe” and less risky films are what’s being produced and screened. It’s a “Hobson’s Choice” dilemma.

The Getty Center Cost $1.3 Billion

Destination for 1.3 Million Annual Visitors

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/14/2014
Recently we were among the 1.3 million annual visitors to the Getty Center in California. The Richard Meier designed complex opened in 1997 at a cost of some $1.3 billion. While spectacular in scale and cliff top site the museum is oddly generic displaying a thin permanent collection with a handful of very expensive acquisitions through some curatorial hanky panky.

Water & Earth : A Call to Protect Fragile Ecosystems

At Gallery 51 in North Adams, MA

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Fine Arts
By: Astrid Hiemer - 11/15/2014
The exhibition's curators, Julia Morgan-Leamon and Sarah Sutro, have brought together ten national and international artists, who are committed in their work to affect the environment and preserve our ecology by producing works that are mindful and attempt to encourage the visitor to live with care. The individual works are beautifully made and thoughtfully presented. It is a cohesive exhibition, well worth seeing - at Gallery 51, North Adams, MA, until November 30th, open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

Tamburlaine Today at the Theatre for a New Audience

John Douglas Thompson Rages at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center

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By: Susan Hall - 11/16/2014
John Douglas Thompson is a great classic actor. As Tamburlaine, he conquers every corner of the stage, and the rafters too before his all-consuming lust for power crashes him. What a piece of work this actor is. At every turn he engages.

Words Matter

The Value of Education

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By: Stephen Rifkin - 11/16/2014
People who make money are successful. They are sometimes well educated, and sometimes not, but they are smart. They are smart enough to be successful in the way most of us value success.

The Other Sangiovese

Morellino di Scansano Is Also fromTuscany

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By: Philip Kampe - 11/17/2014
If you like the Sangiovese grape, think Chianti, then you will Love Morellino di Scansano

PBS Fall Winter Primetime Schedule

Tony Winner Mark Rylance in Wolf Hall

read PBS Fall Winter Primetime Schedule
By: PBS - 11/20/2014
PBS revealed today its full primetime schedule for the 2015 winter/spring season along with key talent appearing at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, taking place this January in Pasadena, CA. PBS will host two days of press conferences featuring Damian Lewis, who plays Henry VIII in MASTERPIECE’s “Wolf Hall,” starring Tony-Award winner Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell; Rory Kennedy, director and producer for LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE; Nicholas Kristof for A PATH APPEARS; Phylicia Rashad for AMERICAN MASTERS “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand”; Misty Copeland for AMERICAN MASTERS “American Ballet Theatre at 75 (w.t.)”; Ricky Jay for AMERICAN MASTERS “Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice”; Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson for MASTERPIECE’s “Poldark”; and other names to be announced.


1940s When the Boys Came Home

read Thanksgiving
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/20/2014
Recalling childhood Thanksgiving with Flynn grandparents. Rambling old house where he was waked in the living room. Long since razed for generic apartjment building. When holidays were a time for warmth and wonder with family.

Irish Sport Pages

Here Today Gonzo Tomorrow

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/20/2014
A blip on the radar screen of infinty. Then what?

Barrington Stage Company 2015

Lost in Yonkers and Man of La Mancha

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By: Barrington - 10/03/2014
Barrington Stage Company (BSC),announced today two of its 2015 Boyd-Quinson Mainstage productions – Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers and Man of La Mancha.

American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style Experience

Lavish Book by Margaret Supplee Smith

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By: Charles Giuliano - 09/23/2014
Wake Forest professor emerita Margaret Supplee Smith combined two loves, skiing and architecture in ten years of research. This has resulted in a lavishly illustrated, beautifully designed book American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style, Experience. It will be an absorbing read both for skiers and armchair enthusiasts. Her overview from the Depression to the current era goes beyond a chronicle of the sport to address social, economic, envirnomental aspects of architetural and design issues of resort development.

Arcosanti Rings a Bell

Desert Laboratory of Architect Paolo Soleri

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By: Charles Giuliano - 10/22/2014
In 1946, with a degree in architecture, Paolo Soleri started a year and a half fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright. Returning to Italy in 1950 by 1956 he and his wife Colly established a home, foundation and bell making studio Acosanti near Scottsdale Arizona. In 1970 he founded Arcosanti some 70 miles from Phoenix as a laboratory for his radical urban designs. The plan was for a community of 5,000. Only a fraction was built before his death in 2013.

Ether Dome: Medical Miracle At Huntington

Surgical Anesthetic Discovery As Gripping Narrative History

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By: Mark Favermann - 10/23/2014
This clever production tells the story of the search for a new treatment promising to end pain as it pits a doctor and his student in an epic battle between altruism and ambition, ego and empathy. Based on the true story of the discovery of ether as an anesthetic in 1846, it is set in Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. This new play explores the horror of pain, the sweetness of relief, and the very modern notion of the hysteria that erupts when healthcare becomes big business.


Rejecting a Gift

read Smashing
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/24/2014
We never quite turn out as planned. A turning point came in a shocking encounter with the conceptual, collage and film artist Bruce Conner.

Double Rhythm Writings about Painting

Jean Helion Collected with an Introduction by Deborah Rosenthal

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Fine Arts
By: Martin Mugar - 10/27/2014
The notion of the hermeneutical way of thinking is evident throughout Helion’s writings. One intriguing essay tries to untangle the origins of Abstraction’s roots in Seurat and Cezanne. Who was more important in influencing Abstraction? Helion comes down on the side of Seurat. Cezanne, he feels, is still attached to the real space of objects and is more Janus-like looking backward as well as forward. Seurat’s work lends itself to further reduction, which is crucial to abstraction.

Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison

Heard Museum Phoenix to January 12

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/28/2014
The Modern Spirit: The Arts of George Morrison is a five venue traveling exhibition which is on view at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona through January 12. Morrison (1919-2000) left the Chippewa people of Lake Superior to study at the Arts Student League in 1943. He enjoyed success in New York with numerous gallery and national museum exhibitions. In 1970 he returned to teach in Minnesota where he primarily lived and worked for the remainder of his life. As an abstract artist Morrison defies narrow definitions of American Indian Art. His life and work did much to expand that.

Hedda Gabler Quirky At Gamm Theatre

Caricatured Characters With Theatrical Energy

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By: Mark Favermann - 11/02/2014
The production of Hedda Gabler at Pawtucket's Gamm Theatre is a less than nuanced production of the 1889 Ibsen classic. Set when Gabler has returned from an extended honeymoon with her tediously academic and wimpy husband, carrying heavy personal baggage she is already bored of marriage. Suffocated by bourgeois society and disdainful of intellectual pursuits, she tries to fulfill her aimless often mean-spirited desires by manipulating those around her resulting tragically. A play with offering no easy answers, the focal point is a Hedda Gabler who is a troubled and troubling woman. Slipping into despair as her options narrow, even with directional script flaws, this is a compelling play.

Barollo Wines

Exploring the Dimensions

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By: Philip Kampe - 11/03/2014
Barollo, a new style of Italian wines is coming to America. According to Marco Barollo, ‘Wine is an alchemic formula. A magic masterpiece that changes the wine, and it is never the same from one year to another. For this reason, every year we find ourselves forced to make brave decisions and invest carefully and only choose those techniques that are proven to help us to give our wine its originality and character’.

Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913 to 1915

LA County Museum of Art to November 30

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/05/2014
Arriving in Paris in 1912, Marsden Hartley, then 35, met two German officers and joined them in Berlin. From 1913 to 1915, and his return to the States, Hartley created a brilliant series of works inspired by and on equal footing with Europe's leading modernists. These works are now on view at the LA County Museum of Art.

Poetic Whimsy Spoken in Form and Motion

Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde To Iconic

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Fine Arts
By: Mark Favermann - 11/05/2014
Alexander Calder's brilliant abstract works revolutionized modern sculpture and made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. This wonderful exhibition brings together 40 of the artist's mobiles (kinetic) and stabiles ( stationary) to explore how Alexander Calder introduced the visual vocabulary into American cultural vernacular. At this once in a generation show, the power of his poetic mastery of elegant form, balance and motion is underscored by his infectious personality of delight and whimsy.

Treasures of Umbria

Italian Friends Visit Manhattan

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By: Philip Kampe - 11/06/2014
Marta and Gianluca, 24 year old students from Umbria visit Manhattan and fall in love with the city. It was our pleasure to show them the sites, tastes and smells of Manhattan.

Framing the Rose

De Gustibus

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/06/2014
When not installing exhibitions Rose Art Museum preparator, the artist Roger Kizik, was encouraged by director Carl Belz and then Joe Ketner to design and create hand crafted frames for singular works in the collection. One of the most successful of these was for a painting from Marsden Hartley's German series. While viewing the Hartley exhibition at the LA Couunty Museum of Art we were furious to find the painting reframed generically. Kizik responds to this issue.

Williamstown Film Festival 2014

Project Screenplay

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/06/2014
The 16th annual Williamstown Film Festival was launched with a hilarious contest last night and runs through this sindey afternoon. The festival is special for both its local, grass roots feeling as well as a lively mix of Indy and big time Hollywood productions and stars.

Kings of the New City

WFF World Premiere Wins Reeve Award

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/07/2014
While an undergraduate at Williams College Nick Pugliese majored in philosophy and political science. He was also on the soccer team. During the Williamstown Film Festival he and Noah Schechter screened the twenty minute film King of the New City which was shot during some 18 months of living and playing soccer in Afghanistan. It's a corker. The film won the annual Christopher and Dana Reeve Award for best short film. The last two winners went on to win Oscars.

The Limits of Our Education System

Functioning in Flatland

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By: David Zaig - 11/07/2014
We had to teach ourselves and share what we have learned with the rest of the class. Apia, the beautiful brown girl I mentioned earlier, is back in town.

Match with Patrick Stewart

Stephen Belber Film at WFF

read Match with Patrick Stewart
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/07/2014
In transferring his 2005 Tony nominated play Match to screen Stephen Belber has created a dense, tight, indeed, claustraphobic film. Initially there are long shots but in the equivalence of the second act, a turning point in the drama, the camera zooms in on the iconic face of the magnificent Sir Patrick Stewart launching into a new dimension of one of his finest performances.

Tony Gilroy Master of Suspense

Bourne Creator at Mass Moca/ WFF

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/08/2014
In a two hour presentation of clips from Bourne, his and other classic suspense films, Tony Gilroy presented a master’s class on state of the art filmmaking for an enthralled audience at the Hunter Center of Mass MoCA. The event which was hosted by artistic director, Steve Lawson, with the artist Stephen Hannock, an Oscar winner, as discussant, was a highlight of the 16th annual Williamstown Film Festival.

Like Sunday, Like Rain by Frank Whaley

Breakout at Williamstown Film Festival

read Like Sunday, Like Rain by Frank Whaley
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/10/2014
Actor/ writer/ director Frank Whaley took seven years to develop Like Sunday, Like Rain. Screened on Sunday morning at the annual Williamstown Film Festival it proved to be the diamond in the rough, small and gleaming gem that scored big time with an appreciative audience. In this case the best film of the festival was saved for last.

Lilli Taylor and Nick Flynn

Lunch Chat at Williams Inn

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/10/2014
During the recent Williamstown Film Festival Diane Pearlman and Berkshire Film & Media Collaborative hosted a lunch at the Williams Inn. It featured independent film star, Lilli Taylor, and her husband, Nick Flynn, a poet, essayist and author of three books of memoirs. Williams College professor, Jim Shepard, led the dialogue.


Teenager in Love

read Elvis
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/12/2014
During rare intervals of peace Dad let me borrow his car. What a sweet ride.


Taxing Situation

read Cigars
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/12/2014
Our family trip to Europe almost went up in smoke passing through French customs.

Pre Med

It Came to Blows

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/12/2014
It was assumed that I would go to med school. At the end of freshman year I had other ideas.

Nightcrawler by Dan Gilroy

Creepy Performance Jake Gyllenhaal

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By: Charles Giuliano - 11/12/2014
During an evening of suspense Tony Gilroy showed a clip from Nightcrawler. It was a film wrtten and directed by his brother Dan. It was fun to see how that scene developed in the arc of a grim but fascinating film.

The Chosen by Aaron Posner

Season Opener for CV REP Rancho Mirage

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By: Jack Lyons - 11/13/2014
“The Chosen” swoops into the audience’s heart and neatly captures the essence of Potok’s affecting human message of hope. Even in a diverse and secular America of 310 million citizens, every culture and every religion has the ability to leave the “old world” of European Jewry behind and blend into the “new world” of America, and still remain true to one’s Jewish traditions.

Intersteallar by Christopher Nolan

Farout Film Stars Matthew McConaughey

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By: Christopher Johnson - 11/14/2014
While "Interstellar" is profoundly beautiful, it is lacking in some fundamental elements of story and dialogue. What is most worrisome about the film is how the dialogue almost reaches a point of realism but falls into platitudes entailing unremarkable but easily understandable sentences.


Seizing the American Dream

read Undocumented
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/15/2014
The Republicans are outraged. With executive power Obama is spoiling the well. Cutting a deal for millions of the undocumented. Like my Sicilian grandfather Andrea. His nine children, including my father, were born as American citizens. Now others will have that opportunity.

Mass MoCA’s Phase Three Renovations

Major Artists Chosen for Long-term Installations

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/16/2014
On November 17 Mass MoCA announces plans for the renovation and programming of 130,000 square feet of industrial space as the final phase of development for its North Adams campus. Planned to open in 2016 the museum must match a state grant for $25.4 million. Works from the estates of Robert Rauchenberg and Louise Bourgeoise will be on view in addition to installations by Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell and Gunnar Schoenbeck.

Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA for 15 Years

Building Developed with Hall Art Foundation

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/27/2013
In collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation a building dedicated to works by the German artist, Anselm Kiefer, will be on view at Mass MoCA for the next 15 years. Combined with the 25 year agreement for the Sol LeWitt building this greatly enhances the museum as America's foremost destination for contemporary art.

Joe Thompson on Mass MoCA Expansion

Part One on Phase Three

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano and Joe Thompson - 03/09/2014
Several months ago we spoke in depth with Joe Thompson about a bill pending on Beacon Hill to grant $25 million toward the final phase of developing the North Adams campus of Mass MoCA. This week, early August, 2014 the bill has been signed by outgoing Governor Deval Patrick a Berkshire neighbor of the museum. Thompson, as he discusses here, must raise an additional $30 million for the project which will take several years.

Harvard Art Museums Open November 16

Renovation by Renzo Piano Conflates Separate Museums

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By: Harvard - 03/11/2014
The Harvard Art Museums—comprising the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum—will open their new Renzo Piano-designed facility to the public on November 16, 2014. The renovation and expansion of the museums’ landmark building at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge will bring the three museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time

Huntington Theatre Company 2014-2015

Six Shows Plus One

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By: Huntington - 03/18/2014
Huntington Theatre Company announces six productions of its 2014-2015 Season plus one additional title. Continuing its 32-year tradition, the Huntington will present world-class productions of new works and classics made current created by the finest local and national talent. The varied lineup includes a Tony Award-winning Broadway comedy, a thrilling new play set in Boston, a new play by a celebrated local writer that riffs on a beloved classic, a revival of a provocative comedy, a classic American drama, and a topical new play directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, plus the return of visionary director David Cromer (Our Town).

Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

German Master Surveyed at MoMA

read Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/03/2014
Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) was one of the most important Post War German artists. He is the subject of a dense, sprawling and and messy retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art through August 3. It would be a folly and conceit to attempt to review such diverse and eclectic, mind boggling work. For that we refer you to mainstream critics all of whom fail, to varying degrees, to nail down the work of one of the most fascinating and daunting artists of our time.

Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges

Bringing Iconic American Art to Arkansas

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/11/2014
During our visit to Crystal Springs Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas we met with museum spokesperson Diane Carol. Fending off questions of media controversy regarding aggressive acquisitions she emphasized that the museum is free and serves a region that lacks resources of its quality. As she pointed out since opening in 11/11/11 some 1.3 million visitors have viewed "Kindred Spirits" by Asher B. Durand which formerly hung in the New York Public Library.

Scorton Marsh, Sandwich, Cape Cod

A Poetic Photo Story

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By: Astrid Hiemer - 09/30/2014
We live in the Berkshire Hills and forests, near lakes. Growing up close to the Baltic and North Seas draws me to oceans still. So we recently spent a wonderful and sunny week on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A photography project follows: From a thousand new Cape photos, we photo-shopped 100, then selected approximately 40, further enhanced or painterly distorted them (or not) for this story and poem.

Brice Marden Discusses Cheap Shots

At 75 an American Master

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/08/2014
Brice Marden is widely admired as one of the foremost abstract artists of his generation. He spoke with the poet Vincent Katz during a recent symposium Make It New? Conversations on Mid-Century Abstraction at the Clark Art Institute During a break we spoke with him and also researched his experiences as an undergraduate at Boston Unversity and transition to graduate study at Yale.

Beef and Boards Announces Season

Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis

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By: Melissa Hall - 09/13/2014
Our Indianapolis contributor and ATCA member, Melissa Hall, is set for another season of dinnert theatre at Beef and Boards. The company is note for lavishly staged productions of popular musicals. As well as decent roast beef.

Jonas Dovydenas Endless War

Afghan Photo Series at Lenox Library

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By: Charles Giuliano - 09/26/2014
From 1985 until fairly recently the Berkshire based photograher, Jonas Dovydenas, made a number of trips to Afghanistan. He started by shooting black and white film and later abandoned the darkroom switching to digital cameras. In all he shot some 15,000 frames. These were culled and edited resulting in the recent exhibition at the Lenox Public Library.

Canti Prosecco and Gianni Martini

Italian Style Is a Mouthful

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By: Philip Kampe - 10/05/2014
Elegant style, trendy packaging is what Gianni Martini and Canti Prosecco is about. We had the good fortune to dine with Gianni Martini, President of Frotelli Martini Secondo Luigi S.p.A. (that’s a mouthful) at the trendy and chic Robert DiNero owned Tribeca restaurant, Locanda Verde.

Benno Friedman on Painterly Photography

Berkshire Artist Overcomes Adversity

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By: Charles Giuliano - 10/01/2014
For Berkshire based photograher, Benno Friendman, taking an image with a camera is the initial step in creating an exhibition print. In this third and final installment of an extensive interview he discussed the alchemy of the darkroom. In more recent years that has morped into manipulations using Photoshop. Several years ago he suffered a severe injury from which he has made a remarkable but gradual recovery. It proved to have little impact on his feisty spirit.

Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to January 15

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/18/2014
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art received a grant from the Tremaine Foundation in support of the ambitious and insightful special exhibition Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns. It has been installed for several months in the three galleries of a former movie theater. The provocative project plays well in a staunchly red state dealing with unchecked undocumented immigration.

Dear Elizabeth Speaks Volumes at Lyric Stage

A Play in Letters Between Elizabeth Bishop & Robert Lowell

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By: Mark Favermann - 10/20/2014
Told through an extensive and compelling correspondence between two of 20th century’s most important and celebrated American poets, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, this play on and with words is a different kind of love. It is a story of the spirit and imagination between artists and friends. This thirty-year friendship served to buoy each other up in life and art. Their often messy, addictive and sometimes unhealthy lives were profoundly impacted by the other. This is a lyrical, moving portrait of a friendship that eloquently transcends oceans, continents, and time.


Mexico's Most Livable City

read Guadalajara
By: Zeren Earls - 10/23/2014
The capital of Jalisco, Guadalajara is a vibrant cosmopolitan city. Designated as "best place to live" by a national survey, it is home to thirteen universities, an abundance of historical treasures, lovely plazas, beautiful fountains, and compelling murals.

Bad Jews Provocative at SpeakEasy Stage

Brilliant Layered Drama About Family, Faith and History

read Bad Jews Provocative at SpeakEasy Stage
By: Mark Favermann - 10/27/2014
Don't let the title put you off. This is not a negative play. The narrative concerns the war between two cousins over a coveted family heirloom, It is a biting comedy/drama about religion and culture. At odds are the annoyingly self-righteous Daphna, a young woman who wears her Jewishness like a badge of honor, and her equally self-centered first cousin Liam, an entitled graduate student who enjoys distancing himself from his cultural traditions. Thrown into the mix is Liam's younger brother Jonah and Liam's white bread girlfriend Melody. When the combatants are forced to spend the night in a studio apartment, all hell breaks loose resulting in a viciously funny brawl over family, faith, and legacy.


The City with Museums

read Zacatecas
By: Zeren Earls - 10/30/2014
On the foothills of the mountains, Zacatecas is a museum city carved out of pink stone; it is also a city of museums. It is a joy to walk the streets and to visit the museums of this fabled silver city in northern Mexico.


Warhol at LA Moca through February 2

read Shadows
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/30/2014
Edge to edge LA MoCA is showing the 102 silk screen paintings comprising Andy Warhol's 1978-79 series Shadows. Viewing this dense installation, on view through February 2, entailed no heavy lifting. Andy called the series "Disco Decor."

LA Museums

A Week on the Run

read LA Museums
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/31/2014
Enduring fits of road rage during a week in LA we made daily visits to great museums. This is an initial report which will continue.

Revisiting San Francisco Opera

Tosca and Partenope Evoke Vivid Memories

read Revisiting San Francisco Opera
By: David Bonetti - 11/01/2014
The two operas I saw on consecutive nights at the San Francisco Opera, Puccini's "Tosca" - one of the genre's true hits - and Handel's "Partenope," a rarity - show that the company has the ambition to represent the full range of the operatic repertory, often featuring major vocal and directorial stars.

Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona

read Taliesin West
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/03/2014
From 1928 and the Biltmore, to the founding of Taliesin West in 1937 until his death at 91 in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright created fifty designs for Arizona. About half were built which is consistent with the average of his career. Recently we spent time exploring projects by the greatest American architect of his generation. There is an ongoing financial struggle for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to preserve his remarkable legacy.

James Hampton at the Smithsonian

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation's Millennium

read James Hampton at the Smithsonian
Fine Arts
By: David Zaig - 11/04/2014
James Hampton is considered one of the great American folk artist. For 14 years, Hampton created the Throne using various shimmering metallic foils, old furniture, pieces of cardboard, old light bulbs, shards of mirror and old desk blotters. He had pinned it together with tacks, glue, and tape.

Arizona Biltmore a Phoenix Landmark

Wright Accents to Albert Chase McArthur Design

read Arizona Biltmore a Phoenix Landmark
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/04/2014
When it opened at the edge of Phoenix in 1929 the Arizona Biltmore was isolated in a dessert environment. The city has grown around it with a now upscale community. The hotel has gone through different owners, fire, remodeling and renovation . It still retains the aura of Frank Lloyd Wright who was a consutlant to the architect of record Charles McArthur. It remains a landmark for scholar and appeciators of classic American luxury resort design.


Red Tide

read November
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/05/2014
Red tide. Morning after post election hangover. America signed, sealed delivered by megarich creeps. Screw the frigging Holidays.

Joyce DiDonato at Carnegie Hall

Venice is Evoked

read Joyce DiDonato at Carnegie Hall
By: Susan Hall - 11/05/2014
Venice was evoked at Carnegie Hall, by the light, shimmering touch of pianist David Zobel accompanying the great American soprano Joyce Di Donato. Channeling Vivaldi, Rossini, Faure, Head and Hahn, this dynamic duo created an unforgettable evening.

Tony’s Sombrero: Mexican Restaurant

Ersatz Burrito in Williamstown

read Tony’s Sombrero: Mexican Restaurant
By: Cisco - 11/10/2014
A quick burrito at Tony's Sombrero before a movie in Williamstown seemed like a great idea. Wrong. What an utter disaster. Particularly returning from several weeks of authentic Mexican food in the Southwest.


Sketching Alfresco

read Barge
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/11/2014
While we explored the sites Dad would take his sketch pad and wander off. In Venice that led to a chance adventure.


When the Wind Blows

read Streetcleaner
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/11/2014
On a streetcorner in Rome, waiting to cross, Dad and I encounted Italian labor. It explains why nothing gets done.

See Section

Birth on a Hot Summer Night

read See Section
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/12/2014
Dad was tired on that hot summer night in the 1950s. He asked me to drive him to the hospital.


Delivered but Didn't Collect

read Gypsy
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/16/2014
During the Great Depression now and then Dad made house calls. Like delivering a Gypsy baby in a Brooklyn storefront.

Sicilian Doctor

An Offer He Refused

read Sicilian Doctor
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/16/2014
As a young Sicilian doctor in Brooklyn he might have become a made man. Late at night he refused.

Coney Island

Riding the Ambulance

read Coney Island
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/16/2014
An intern on call round the clock Mom took naps in her uniform. When the bell rang there were minutes to hop in the ambulance. At Coney Island Hospital she saw it all from drowning victims to mob hits.

Il Pane Degliangeli, Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries of the Uffizi Gallery

On View at Savannah’s Telfair Museums Through March 31

read Il Pane Degliangeli, Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries of the Uffizi Gallery
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 03/07/2013
The venerable Ufizzi Museum in Florence has tarnished its reputation by packaging works from storage and sending them to four out of the mainstream American museums. We viewed the final destination of the revenue generating tour at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia.

ArtsEmerson Announces 2013-2014 Program

Fourth Season Starts September 17

read ArtsEmerson Announces 2013-2014 Program
By: Emerson - 04/12/2013
ArtsEmerson announces the first half of its fourth theatre season, beginning in the fall of 2013. This announcement covers productions into January of 2014, with more winter/spring productions to be announced later. Tickets for these productions go on sale to ArtsEmerson members on April 12, and to the general public on May 3.

WAM Theatre Announces 2014 Season

Focus on Women and Girls

read WAM Theatre Announces 2014 Season
By: WAM - 02/25/2014
WAM Theatre’s Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven announces highlights of the 2014 season. The Berkshire-based professional theatre company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with plays readings, special events, panel discussions, and educational programs that focus on women artists and stories of women

Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism

April Kingsley's Catalogue for Michigan State University

read Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/19/2014
While curator of Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University from 1999 to 2011 April Kingsley had the resources and inspiration to collect works by the undervalued and poorly understood artists of the Figurative Expressionist movement. It was widely felt among artists that there would be a return to the figure informed by but diverging from abstract expressionism. Aspects of this experimentation occurred with little or no direct communication in New York, Provincetown, Boston, and the Bay Area of San Francisco. This book fails to present a cohesive overview of those complex developments.

Re-Introducing The Rhino Horn Group

Evolved from Figurative Expressionism

read Re-Introducing The Rhino Horn Group
Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 07/24/2014
When Pop Art dominated the art world and mass-media a group of New York expressionists said no thanks. The primal, raucous, and confrontational approach to painting exhibited by the group’s members kept the emotional impact of Figurative Expressionism alive. However, aesthetic tradition was less important than the moral obligation of depicting the reality that the artists perceived. This put the Rhino Horn artists at odds with many of the mainstream artists that had turned away from expressionism and humanist art.

Love Made Visible by Jean Gibran

A Complex Book on Her Husband Kahlil Gibran

read Love Made Visible by Jean Gibran
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/27/2014
Decades ago the sculptor Kahlin Gibran and his wife Jean purchased a shell in Boston's ethnically mixed South End. A meticulous craftsman the home evolved as a museum of his work and collection. Together they wrote a definitive 1974 biography "Kahlil Gibran, His Life and World." Now Jean has published "Love Made Visible: Scenes from a Mostly Happy Marriage" about a complex relationship with her late husband.

Ann Hamilton Bangs on a Can

Paper Sounding Premieres at Mass MoCA

read Ann Hamilton Bangs on a Can
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/30/2014
With just four rehearsal sessions in less than a week installatin artist, Ann Hamilton, returned to Mass MoCA to create a piece for some thirty individuals "Paper Sounding" as a part of the annual Bang on a Can festival. The spontaneous and lively work was co directed by Mark Stewart and David Cossin. The performance was our introducton to an area of the vast Building Six which the museum hopes soon to develop. We spoke with Hamilton about the significance of paper in her practice.

More Than a Basic Wine Course

Wine Made Simple

read More Than a Basic Wine Course
By: Philip S. Kampe - 08/10/2014
This is a basic wine course that will help you to understand wine. There are Saturday afternoon tastings at Nejaimes’s wines in both Lenox and Stockbridge and Spirited Wines in Lenox. Your local shop in West Stockbridge, Housatonic, Adams, North Adams or Williamstown may do the same.

Berkshire Photographer Benno Friedman

Early Years: Woodstock, Rolling Stone, Playboy

read Berkshire Photographer Benno Friedman
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/25/2014
Berkshire based photographer, Benno Friedman, bought a camera in a duty free shop in the Amsterdam airport. It was the summer after graduation from college in 1966. Upon returning a friend helped him to process and print the film. Soon that launched into dual career as a commercial and fine arts photographer. That led to assignments like shooting Woodstock for Playboy and Seventeen. He was also a stringer for Rolling Stone. This is part one of a recent extensive interview.

The Vaccination Divide

Exploring the Pros and Cons

read The Vaccination Divide
By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/25/2014
Faith based and other concerned parents have opted not to vaccinate their children. This can result in outbreaks in formerly widely preventable diseases. There are concerns that vaccinations may in fact induce dangerous side effects inluding an inclination for autism. Our science correspondent, a firm advocate of vaccination, explores the issues and risk factors.

Vaccination Followup

Poor Former Dr. Wakefield

read Vaccination Followup
By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/31/2014
In this sidebar to the Vaccination Divide we discuss the contoversies surrounding the research of Dr. Andrew Wakefield who uncovered links between autism and a particular type of gut inflammation. Eventually his findings were discredieted and his liscense to practice medicine was revoked. But he is correct that aluminum toxicity is capable of doing real damage.

Benno Friedman Hosted Tim Leary

Hitched Ray and Alice Brock of Alice's Restaurant

read Benno Friedman Hosted Tim Leary
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/02/2014
An extended family of artists and hipsters celebrate holidays in the Berkshires at the home of Benno and Stephanie Friedman. Among the renowned guests have been LSD guru, Tim Leary, and chef Alice Brock. Benno shot the illustrations for the Alice's Restaurant Cookbook. There's a shot of me with an apple in my mouth in the chapter on stuffing.


From the Coast of Chile

read KALFU Wines
By: Philip Kampe - 09/29/2014
Winemaker Alejandro Galaz produces wines from Chile's coastline

Mark Favermann Functional Abstraction

Newbury College Exhibition

read Mark Favermann Functional Abstraction
Fine Arts
By: Arthur Birkland - 10/01/2014
Mark Favermann is known to readers of Berkshire Fine Arts for reviews of Boston theatre and articles on fine arts, architecture and design. From October 15 through December 5 an exhibition of his work Functional Abstraction will be on view at Newbury College in Brookline, Mass.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Alex Sharp Brilliant as an Autistic Boy

read Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By: Susan Hall - 10/06/2014
The title suggests an Oliver Sacks' story, but unfortuntately his humanity is not translated to the stage.

Glass Menagerie at Pittsburgh Public Theatre

Superb Production of Tennessee Williams Drama

read Glass Menagerie at Pittsburgh Public Theatre
By: Wendy Arons - 10/17/2014
The trick to a good production of this play – and the one at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre falls squarely into that category – lies in finding a style for representing memory, one that keeps in view not only the events as remembered by Tom, infused and informed by his guilty conscience over having left his overbearing mother and fragile sister to their own devices, but also the reality of the characters themselves, distinct from his memory somehow, so that we in the audience don’t fall into the trap of only seeing the other characters as Tom remembers them.


Lost at Sea

read Hartley
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/19/2014
Marsden Hartley was among the most original and tragic of America's modernists. Today he is regarded as one of the finest artists of his generation. His life was one of constant struggle and adversity.

The Death of Klinghoffer Arrives at the Met

John Adams' Controversial Opera is Smashing

read The Death of Klinghoffer Arrives at the Met
By: Susan Hall - 10/25/2014
Months of protesting, picketing and angry letters in the opinion pages of newspapers heralded the first Metropolitan Opera production of John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer. The production is first rate. The drama compelling. Sets, lighting, singing, the chorus, all top fight. Since the first production of the opera in 1991 there have been no protests, until some citizens of New York rose up this year.


Way Out West

read Hollywood
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/28/2014
View from terrace of LA County Museum.

Martha Chokely

Oh No

read Martha Chokely
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/28/2014
Martha Coakley yet again our biggest looser.

Movie Stars

From Here to There

read Movie Stars
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/30/2014
The rich and famous live in LaLa Land. Expressways are the equalizer. They drive like Kamikazes on the freeways.

Peter Sellars Artist of the Year

Musical America Names a Genius

read Peter Sellars Artist of the Year
By: Susan Hall - 11/04/2014
The idea for "The Death of Kllinghoffer: came from Sellars. He directed the St. Matthew Passion" with the Berlin Philharmonic. At Santa Fe where he has directed he roams the grounds hugging everyone. A warm, brilliant man. He deserves all of his awards.


Sock Talk

read Solstice
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/06/2014
We in New England are enchanted by the dramatic daily nuances of transition from fall to winter. But I have a more personal way of marking the changes of season.


Daily Dose

read Cure
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/06/2014
They say that a bit of daily whiskey is good for the heart.

Squam Day

Annual Chowder Race

read Squam Day
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/13/2014
A highlight of summer was the annual Chowder Race hosted by the Annisquam Yacht Club. It started at noon with delicious cxhowder quaintly served in tin pans with a fresh plain donut stuck on the handle. Then the fleet set sail for the open sea.


Taking the Heat

read Silence
By: Charles Giuliano - 11/13/2014
As a rookie at the Herald Traveler I got dusted up. My mentor, Ian Forman, gave me sound advice that still sticks with me.

Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas

All the Museum that Walmart Money Can Buy

read Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/10/2014
After extensive renovation and expansion the Clark Art Institute reopens this summer. Much is being made of how its Tadeo Ando designed low lying horizontal line and large reflecting pool embrace nature and the background rolling mountain range. The paradigm for architecture set into natural surroundings, however, is the Moshe Safdie design for Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. It is nestled into a ravine with a series of pontoon "bridges." The museum which opened on 11/11/11 has some 500,000 annual visitors for its controversial collection of American art.

A Secret Passage Way - 2014

Global Call to Participate in Photo Project

read A Secret Passage Way  -  2014
By: Astrid Hiemer - 06/17/2014
From February to May we invited participants to submit photographs and words via email and Face Book representing passages in any way real or imagined. Collaborators expanded the project in amazing and unexpected directions. Here is the resulting digital exhibition:

BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season

Welcomes Andris Nelsons

read BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season
By: BSO - 03/06/2014
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season shines a welcoming spotlight on Andris Nelsons as he makes hihighly anticipated debut as BSO Music Director, leading performances that feature an eclectic offering of music and an impressive lineup of guest artists, and presenting programs that illuminate touchstone moments in his life as a musician, from his youngest days as a child in Riga, to his present-day stature as one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Mr. Nelsons takes on the title of BSO Music Director in September 2014, at age 35, he will be the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.

Franz West at Mass MoCA and WCMA

From Actionism to the Absurd

read Franz West at Mass MoCA and WCMA
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/21/2014
The Austrian artist Franz West (16 February 1947- 25 July 2012). is being featured this summer in the Northern Berkshires. There is a display of several large scale, puffy, pink phallic sculptures at Mass MoCA and a tandem exhibition of works on paper and smaller scale sculptures at Williams College Museum of Art. The artist was widely included in global biennials and museum exhibitions including a retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art. We consider West in the milieu of post war artists in Vienna including its outrageous Actionists.

Magna Carta at the Clark

1215 and All That

read Magna Carta at the Clark
By: Clark - 08/29/2014
Magna Carta comes to the Clark courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral as part of the United Kingdom’s preparations for celebrating the document’s 800th anniversary in 2015. The Lincoln Cathedral Exemplar of Magna Carta is widely regarded as the finest extant copy of the document due to the fact that it is written in an ‘official’ hand and has remained at Lincoln since the time of its first issue.

Outside The Machine

Waxing Philosophical

read Outside The Machine
By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/03/2014
There has been a lively response to the provocative series of think pieces by the Berkshire artist David Zaig. Here the Berkshire poet Stephen Rifkin debates Zaig's contentions. They often sit at the same table during weekly Monday night Chinese dinners in North Adams. Rifkin recently gave a poetry reading at the Rudd Art Museum where Zaig is currently exhibiting his work.

An Update with Michael Conforti

Clark Art Institute's Globe Trotting Director

read An Update with Michael Conforti
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/07/2014
Completing a $145 million renovation and expansion the Clark Art Institute repoened this summer. The occasion was launched with a stunning range of special exhibitions. During a recent opening of Magna Carta we asked the museum's fast moving director, Michael Conforti, for an overview of the season and when we might expect to see Treasures from the Prado?

Modern Theatre at Suffolk University

The 2014-2015 Season

read Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
By: Suffolk - 09/11/2014
The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University announces the programming lineup for its 2014-2015 season, featuring conversation, film, and new and classic plays.

Berkshire Composer Stephen Dankner

Premieres String Quartets at Williams October 12

read Berkshire Composer Stephen Dankner
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/27/2014
On October 12 at 3 PM there will be a performance by the Dover String Quartet of new works by Berkshire based composer Stephen Dankner. It was originally scheduled for the Clark but because of construction issues has been moved to Williams College and the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 54 Chapin Hall Drive, Williamstown. We met for lunch to dicuss this and other premieres scheduled through March.

Spirited Wines of Lenox

Education Enhances the Experience

read Spirited Wines of Lenox
By: Philip Kampe - 10/06/2014
In the Berkshires my Saturday wine destination is Spirited in Lenox. Also check out Kelly's Package Store in Dalton and Nejaime's in both Lenox and Stockbridge. They will help you know more about wine through tastings.

Wright Stuff

Truman Blocked the View

read Wright Stuff
By: Charles Giuliano - 10/17/2014
With several thousand dollars earned from designing Fallingwater between 1937 and 1959 Frank Lloyd Wright designed Taliesin West which was constructed by students and fellows. It was sited toward a magnificent view of Arizona mountains. Returning from Wisconsin for the winter season he was pissed to find power lines marring the horizon. He called the President.

State of the Art in Arkansas

Crystal Bridges Captures America's Heartbeat

read State of the Art in Arkansas
Fine Arts
By: Susan Hall - 10/20/2014
In Bentonville, Arkansas, a stunning museum by Moshe Safdie houses one of the great collections of American Art, and celebrates the future too in 'State of Art."