Williamstown

BTW Flashback: The Magi in Persian perspective

The scene gleams out of the Renaissance — the three wise men kneel before the barefoot, tired new parents and the infant. The color, perspective and detail come out of Persian miniatures and Mughal paintings from northern India. And the artist is a British painter in the middle of World War I. On a winter…

Mountain Meadow on a fall morning

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith takes a fall walk in the northern hills. With land in Pownal Vermont and Williamstown, Massachusetts, I cannot think of a lovelier autumn walk than the preserve we call Mountain Meadow. Choose an afternoon with few clouds, when walking will be even more pleasurable if skies are blue and foliage contrasting, and…

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…

BTW Cubist and Surrealist encounters at the Clark

The cloth of her shirt ripples like light on water, and above her three circles of light shine like bubbles or sun on a lens. This is a self-portrait. Dora Maar was about 28 when she made it. I can imagine her in her darkroom, shaping light and shade on a silver gelatin print. Sounds…

Hiking the Hopper Trail up Mount Greylock

I’ve been wanting to do this since the first weekend I lived here in summer. June 1999, after my junior year, I shared a roomy apartment with college friends on the first floor of a big yellow house on Park Street. I wanted to pick strawberries, and someone told me they grow wide along the…