Art

At WCMA 500-year-old objects tell contemorary stories

How would a carver in 16th-century France get ivory? Why does St. Lucy carry two eyes on a platter? In The Presence of Absence, curator Kevin Murphy presents an unusual collection of medieval objects from France and Spain, Persia and Byzantium, and the text in the show offers some unusual insights.

WCMA rediscovers medieval gallery

The Williams College Museum of Art has recovered a vanished room. It feels like a kind of mythical medieval place, with a floor of handmade tiles and dark plaster walls, oak beams and diamond-paned windows with inset stained glass. It was designed almost 80 years ago, walled away and almost forgotten. The young museum built…

A treasure hunt for people of hay

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith has gone searching for sculptures, from jazz musicians to refugees to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza …  I have often called Berkshire artist Michael Melle’s sculptures, ‘straw people,’ but they are not straw — he chooses second cutting hay chosen for the best results. These hay and stick sculptures are fluid,…

Clemens Kalischer changing times on film

At the Old Bennington Weavers textile mill, looms hold fabrics for an artist and fashion designer, Tzaims Luksus, known for his graphics on silk. In Brattleboro, artisans at the family-run Anderson Pipe Organ Company are shaping pipes by hand from sheet metal. Crafters go about their work and grey-haired men lean on their snow shovels.…

Susan Merrill makes summer last

Susan Merrill and her husband, Carl Sprague, are sitting under the grape vines on the terrace outside their old white house, with two corgis underfoot. Susan’s grandfather lived in this house; it has been in the family almost 100 years. They have spent this summer quietly here, seeing friends and family, plays and concerts while…

Chicory blossoms blue in late summer

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith finds late-summer wildflowers in the fields. A quick glance along August roadsides will immediately reveal white flowers, yellow flowers, pink flowers, orange flowers, all intense, and competing for the attention of pollinating insects of all shapes, sizes and descriptions. Among them grows a purple-blue blossom with fine serrations on the ends…

BTW Berkshire artists in West Stockbridge

The painter caught my eye, standing on the grass outside the old town hall. Straw hat and smock, pallette and easil — a plein air artist made of straw. On the easil, splashes of bright color announced that the Richmond-West Stockbridge Artists Guild has an exhibit running this weekend and next (Aug. 24 to 27…