Northern Berkshires

Thompson Chapel at Williams College shines a warm light on a snowy night. Photo by Kate Abbott

Berkshire holiday music warms midwinter BTW

Winds in the reeds lift a clear tone in longing for home — a heartbeat Last year, on a snowy day, we heard a solo harp. Students sang a medieval carol and a modern one by Richard Wilbur, our former poet Laureate and former Berkshire voice in the hills, and Rick Spaulding talked gently, sadly,…

Fresh snow piles and hemlock trees on a December morning at The Boulders in Dalton. Photo by Thom Smith

The friendly hemlock — East coast evergreen

Berkshire Naturalist Thom Smith finds color in the winter woods. Never confuse this evergreen with a Christmas Tree — regardless of the name, it will be a happier tree outside than inside, as its needles fall upon drying out. It’s a common tree in cool woods with moist soil throughout New England, and north well into Canada,…

Farms and fields — Walks in Williamstown

Thom Smith, a naturalist in the Berkshires, takes a gentle walk in the Williamstown hills. Field Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Stone Hill, Mountain Meadow Preserve and Sheep Hill — slopes and gentle trails lie just up the road from The Clark, Williams College and the Williamstown Theater Festival. And many visitors and locals alike may…

Hawaiian past and present at Williams College

A young man is singing in a low and carrying voice. He holds long phrases on a breath. He is chanting a Hawaiian oli, and the words are his. Nālamakū Ahsing is a Williams student, class of ’21, and he wrote these verses calling to the people who came before him to speak. He opens…

Łempicka brings Parisian art to WTF

In a studio at night, two women are holding each other. The room smells of paint and turpentine and smoke and sweat. An artist trying to build a career and raise a daughter comes to a bar after her first big opening and meets a woman who has always lived on the edge, on the streets,…

Women Artists in Paris at the Clark

Rosa Bonheur had won international fame for her scenes of horse fairs and ploughing oxen. She went to abattoirs and open markets to study animals, and she dissected them to learn their anatomy, like Leonardo Da Vinci learning the chambers of the human heart. But she had to get a letter of permission from the…

William Kentridge honors Africa in World War I

You have already taken all I have. Now you are taking my son. The words appear on a vast wall. At center stage a man faces a round microphone, as though he is speaking on the radio in 1918. He is reliving the history of Africa in World War I — a story internationally acclaimed South African…