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Gilbert Wilson’s Moby-Dick

September 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Arrowhead gleams in afternoon sunlight among massive evergreens.
Photo by Kate Abbott

In his lifetime, artist Gilbert Wilson (1907-1991) lived in relative obscurity, and after a critical splash in the 1930s he sacrificed financial security for the artistic freedom to create more than 200 paintings and drawings inspired by Moby-Dick.

Award-winning author Robert K. Elder wil give a talk and film screening on his latest book, Gilbert Wilson’s Moby-Dick, an illustrated edition of Herman Melville’sclassic. This free event takes place at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. Along with his talk, Elder will present the rarely-screened short film Moby-Dick (1955), which uses Wilson’s paintings to tell the story.

In 2019, Elder edited and published an illustrated version of the book using Wilson’s work. Wilson’s Moby-Dick art was also the basis for Jerry Winter’s 1955 short film of the same name. The film is narrated by actor Thomas Mitchell (most famous as Scarlett O’Hara’s father in Gone with the Wind).

AElder is the Chief Digital Officer at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and an award-winning author of 15 books, including Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park, for which he won a Gold Medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review,, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe,, and many other publications. He has taught journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School and Columbia College Chicago.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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Event Details


September 29
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Event Location

780 Holmes Rd
Pittsfield, MA

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