You might find glass planets orbiting in an orrery. You might find a basket woven of black ash almost as fine as thread by Passamaquoddy basketmaker Jeremy Frey. On a warm afternoon you might find kids in the garden with the native plants, creating a homegrown science experiment with a fountain of soda.
The Berkshire Museum covers a lot of ground — local history and natural history, science and art. It has stood at the center of the county for more than 100 years.
The original collection comes from Zenas Crane, who founded the museum in 1903. (He was the owner of Crane & Company, the paper manufacturer in Dalton best-known as the longtime supplier of paper to the U.S. Treasury.)
He collected paintings from the Hudson River School and traveled widely, and he brought together what the museum describes as ‘fossil collections, a 143-pound meteorite, an Egyptian mummy, shards of Babylonian cuneiform tablets, samplings of early Mediterranean jewelry …’
In the 21st century, the museum has often worked with guest curators and artists. It brings in traveling exhibits and screens contemporary films in its own Little Cinema.