Museums

Ecophilia in the winter garden

Flat stepping stones hang in the air. A small boy sits in the shadow of vast objects above him. The image looks impossible, out of scale, and out of gravity. And then the perspective shifts into place, and the image is a reflection — the stones sit at the edge of the lake, and the…

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…

Kinetic sculpture at Chesterwood

George Rickey’s metal forms caught the light and shifted in the wind. By that summer, he had shown them worldwide from Osaka to Berlin. In 1978, Maxwell Davidson met George Rickey for the first time at Rickey’s studio in East Chatham, N.Y. Davidson had opened his New York gallery 10 years before, and that summer, Rickey…

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…

Fiddlers jam at Hancock Shaker Village

Imagine holding hands and spinning until the room blurs. Imagine that movement in someone’s arms, to the beat of music. Imagine the musicians sliding from one tune to the next, the melody racing over the chords. Across the country, across 200 years and more, folk dance music has stayed alive. Mill workers have played on their breaks,…

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…

Ellsworth Kelly leaves — Berkshire Botanical Garden

A line curves into a ripe pear, or a petal, or a stem. Walk through earth banks planted with larch, hawthorn and sporobolus grass. Pass the stone lip of fountain with a flame at the center. Enter a doorway in a living wall of cyclamen, maidenhair fern and ivy. And here, in a restored 19th-century house,…