50 minutes/28 miles
87 Marshall Street, North Adams, MA 01247
Housed on a restored 19th century factory campus, MASS MoCA is the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country. Open year round with full schedule of live events, changing exhibitions and Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing Retrospective. MASS MoCA opened in 1999 with 19 galleries and 100,000 sq ft of exhibition space. Along with a large variety of contemporary art displays, the museum also hosts film screenings and has seen performances by a variety of musical acts, including Joan Baez, Cat Power and Steve Earle. MASS MoCA is the home of the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, where composers and performers from around the world come to create and perform original music. The festival, started in 2001, includes concerts in galleries — usually twice a day — for three weeks during the summer.
Admission: $15 adults, $10 students, $5 children 6–16, Free for children 5 and under, Free to members
45 minutes/27 miles
225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267
The Clark collection is best known for an extraordinary collection of French Impressionist paintings, which take their place within a wider ensemble of masterworks that date from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. The Clark continues to collect in the fields of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and photographs as well as decorative arts including additions to its already extensive collection of British and American silver. A regular series of Institutional loan exhibitions are offered each year and the Clark's commitment to public education is centered on gallery talks for children and adults. These include studio art classes, outdoor family festivals, and lectures related to the collection and exhibitions. The performing arts programs – ranging from outdoor band concerts to folk and world music to the finest chamber performances – are offered year-round, as are film series, special tours, and more.
Norman Rockwell Museum
15 minutes/9 miles
9 Massachusetts 183, Stockbridge, MA 01262
The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to art appreciation and education through new scholarship that illuminates Norman Rockwell's unique contributions. The museum also exhibits the works of contemporary and past masters in an ongoing series of compelling artist showcases. Previous exhibitions at the Museum have presented the work of Frederic Remington, Charles Schulz, Winslow Homer, Howard Pyle, J.C. Leyendecker, Maxfield Parrish, Rockwell Kent, Al Hirschfeld, Robert Weaver, David Macaulay, James Gurney, and others. Set on a picturesque 36-acre estate in Stockbridge, the hometown of America's favorite artist, the museum is one of the leading arts institutes of the Berkshires. The Norman Rockwell Museum preserves and exhibits the world's largest collection of original art by America's favorite illustrator.
Arrowhead, Home of Herman Melville
7 minutes/3 miles
780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Arrowhead (1780), also known as the Herman Melville House, was the home of American author Herman Melville during his most productive years from 1850-1863. In this house in Pittsfield, Melville wrote some of his major works: the novels Moby-Dick, Pierre (dedicated to nearby Mount Greylock), The Confidence-Man, and Israel Potter; a collection of short stories entitled The Piazza Tales that includes "Bartleby the Scrivener"; all his magazine stories; and some of his poetry. The house is now a non-profit historic museum operated by the Berkshire County Historical Society. The home is open to the public for guided tours for part of the year.
Hancock Shaker Village
17 minutes/9 miles
1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
The largest Shaker museum in the east, Hancock opened as a living history museum in 1961. It contains 20 historic buildings, extensive gardens, and a significant collection of Shaker artifacts. The Round Stone Barn continues to impress visitors and scholars alike with the building ingenuity of the Shakers. The village also includes Shaker craft demonstrations, historic breeds of livestock, and its restored 19th-century water system. The Center for Shaker Studies, opened in 2000, offers two exhibition galleries to the public, one dedicated to Shaker gift drawings.
15 minutes/ 9 miles
5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA 01262
Experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate, renowned for its elegant gardens and rare Berkshire "Cottage". With its gracious house, magnificent gardens, and panoramic views, Naumkeag is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age. This architectural masterpiece is, at its heart, a family home. Joseph Choate, a leading 19th-century attorney, hired the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, & White to design the 44-room "cottage," Naumkeag, which would serve as a summer retreat for three generations of Choates.
With its views of Monument Mountain, its stunning collection of gardens created by Joseph Choates's daughter, Miss Mabel Choate, and Fletcher Steele over 30 years, its original artwork, and its shingle-style house, Naumkeag creates an unforgettable experience for visitors. Don't miss the self-guided audio tour of the Naumkeag gardens, including the Blue Steps, a series of deep blue fountain pools, flanked by four flights of stairs and a grove of white birches. Walk through the equally beautiful Afternoon Garden, Tree Peony Terrace, Rose Garden, Evergreen Garden, and Chinese Garden to encounter the playful, inventive spirit of Miss Choate and Mr. Steele. Bequeathed in its entirety in 1958 – from furniture to garden tools to its intact dairy barn – Naumkeag, a National Historic Landmark, provides a special link to Berkshires history. More than that, it is a place where you, like the Choates, can find beauty and rejuvenation in a lovely place.
Open May 22, 2010 to Columbus Day, daily, 10AM to 5PM Allow a minimum of 1 hour for the garden, 2 hours if also taking house tour.