Lenox

James Van Der Zee photos comes home

He was born in a house on Hubbard Street when Hubbard Street was still a dirt road. He remembered early years in a large, warm family. Around him, people were always  sketching and drawing, singing and playing instruments. He played the piano and the violin, but the instrument that made his name known around the world…

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,…

Wharton Comedies at Shakespeare & Co

Two women are sitting at an outdoor table at the cool end of a hot day in Rome. They are looking out at the ruins of the Roman forum, and they have known each other since they were teenagers. On another ridge, another woman is thinking with longing and fear of a canto of Dante’s Inferno…

‘Intimate Apparel’ at Shakespeare & Co.

The Japanese silk is woven through with a golden thread and dyed with a light scent of fruit. It is 1905 in New York City, and a seamstress makes makes corsets to fit smoothly against the skin. But closeness and sensuality are complicated, and what is life-giving when it is real can be dangerous when it…

Take a walk in Edith Wharton’s garden

The French lilac are blooming in wide arcs in the gardens at The Mount, at the end of the lime walk. Standing in the circle of bushes, I watched two swallowtail butterflies touch down for a drink. In the woods yellow iris still show in marshy places, and around the grounds artwork has come in…

Writers in residence in Wharton’s rooms

In the evening, they share a house in Lenox. They sit up late, talking and making pizza. They read each other’s work or watch Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of The Age of Innocence. And each day they write at the Mount, in Edith Wharton’s inner rooms. Vanessa Manko said whatever she was working on, the movement…