PITTSFIELD, Mass .– The Berkshire County Historical Society (BCHS) in Arrowhead by Herman Melville is now open for tours through October.
Throughout the summer, special events and exhibits will be featured in the newly renovated historic barn and on the grounds.
Tours are available Thursday through Monday starting at 10:00 am, with the last tour starting at 3:00 pm The rates for the Melville House tours are: Adults $ 16.00, Seniors $ 14.00, Students 10 , $ 00, children 12 and under, free. BCHS members enjoy free entry. BCHS participates in the Card to Culture program extending free admission to EBT, WIC and Connector Care health insurance cardholders. Visit mobydick.org for details.
The BCHS grounds and nature trails in Arrowhead are open year round free of charge during the day. To protect and preserve this natural and historic habitat, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and owners must clean up after their pets. Motorized vehicles are not allowed except in the driveway and parking lot. Metal detectors are prohibited.
July 10 – October – “Lifting the Veil: Customs Surrounding Mourning in the Berkshires”
This exhibition examines rituals and objects from the mid-19th century related to death and agony in the Berkshires and beyond. Lifting the Veil looks at historical practices surrounding death, burial and those who remain. BCHS collections will be on display in this exhibition, including items that are not regularly displayed to the public.
Free with entry
From August 1, 2021 to January 9, 2022 at the Berkshire Museum
“Muh-he-con-ne-ok: the people of the waters who are never yet”
This exhibit showcases the past, present and future of the Stockbridge-Munsee community by showcasing historical and contemporary artefacts combined with oral and written histories. Muh-he-con-ne-ok: People of the Waters that are Never Still is presented at the Berkshire Museum in collaboration with the Berkshire County Historical Society, Bidwell House Museum, Stockbridge Library, Trustees of the Reservations, Housatonic Heritage, Williams College and the Mohicans Stockbridge-Munsee Band.
Admission: adults $ 13, children 4 to 17 $ 6
Special events and programs
Monday, June 7 – Fundraising launch party Moby-Dick audiobook, 7 p.m.
“During the pandemic, I spent my time putting out as many audio publications as possible,” said award-winning audiobook producer Alison Larkin, whose West Stockbridge-based company Alison Larkin Presents is. “I had a hunch it was time for a really accessible Moby Dick recording, so we hired popular Berkshire actor Jonathan Epstein whose storytelling is truly compelling.”
Limited tickets are available for this special reading and Q&A with Epstein and the producers of this epic new Moby Dick recording. To download and listen to the audiobook, visit alisonlarkinpresent.com.
Thursday June 17 – Melville Biographical Research Lecture: Warren Broderick, 6:30 p.m.
Join Melville researcher and retired New York State archivist Warren Broderick as he presents newly discovered original source documents that will shed light on Melville’s life and work. Learn about previously unknown documents bearing Herman’s signature as well as the first published reference to a missing novel.
FREE for BCHS members, $ 10 for non-members: tickets available online at mobydick.org or by phone at 413.442.1793
Sunday, June 27 – Victorian Quadrille Orchestra, 7 p.m.
The Victorian Quadrille Orchestra features dance music from the Civil War and the Victorian era. The orchestra invites you to step back to an era before electronics and recorded music as they perform original music written in the 1800s with authentic instrumentation. Hear quadrilles, lancers, polkas, waltzes, reels and more.
Program sponsored by Pittsfield Cooperative Bank
July 1 to 15 – Residence for mastheads editors
The Mastheads is a writers’ residency program that creates a dialogue about place through literature and architecture. Five original architectural spaces serve as studios for writers in residence selected to produce new works each summer. Each space is inspired by an American author who has produced works in and around Pittsfield – Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Longfellow and Holmes Sr. The studios remind us of the past while providing a platform for new creativity. Visit themastheads.org for more information.
July 10 – Mastheads Banner Final Readings, 6 p.m.
The fifth annual reading of new author work from Mastheads in the historic Arrowhead Barn.
Sunday July 11 – Book Reading – Caroline Hellman: Children of the Raven and the Whale: Visions and Revisions in American Literature, 3 p.m.
Children of the Raven and the Whale: Visions and Revisions in American Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2019) examines how contemporary American writers responded to texts that were historically at the heart of American literary canon – including Melville’s Moby Dick. In their rewrites and the layering of new stories over older ones, contemporary writers relate a range of American experiences and assess the United States project. This talk will explore Melville’s influence on the work of author Ta-Nehisi Coates, in addition to discussing the broader landscape of American literature today.
$ 10 BCHS members, $ 15 non-members
July 24 and 25 – Guild of Berkshire Artists Art Show, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Art @ Arrowhead: a spectacle whale! presents the works of local and regional artists around the theme of stories in art. The show is a great opportunity to support local artists by purchasing their work.
July 31 – August 4: Moby-Dick Fifth Annual Read-A-Thon, 10 am-5pm
“Call me Ishmael” and sign up to read part of Melville’s masterpiece on the site where it was written. Come alone or bring a group to read with us until we have finished the book.
Recommended donation of $ 5
Sunday, August 1 – Herman Melville’s birthday and mountain hike to the monument, 9 a.m.
Celebrate the day (August 4, 1850) Melville met Hawthorne while hiking Monument Mountain. Read the poem they read together at the top and share sparkling wine (they had champagne). Meet in the Monument Mountain parking lot, off Route 7 in Great Barrington.
Thursday, August 5 – Berkshire County Historical Society Fundraiser, 4 p.m.
Celebrate summer and local history with an evening by Lake Morewood at the Country Club in Pittsfield. The evening includes a short play in memory of Sarah Morewood, the lady of Broad Hall, whose estate was sold to the club’s founders.
Tickets are available on mobydick.org and include heavy appetizers; cash bar available.
August 13-15 – Rewritten, 7 p.m.
ReWritten is an immersive performance that explores the often-silenced intimate relationship between writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. Moving between their life, their work and their remaining letters, ReWritten reinvents an intergenerational queer love story that has helped shape American literature. Through dance, live music, visual arts, projection and text, this performance questions what happens when we say no to dreams when we want to say yes. Co-created and performed by Tom Truss and Matthew Cumbie.
$ 10 for members of the BHS; $ 15 for non-members
Use your EBT card and get 50% off
Free for children 12 and under
Sunday September 5 – Conference and film screening: Professor Michael Hoberman and the film “Call Us Ishmael”, directed by Dr David Shaerf, 3 pm-6pm
Michael Hoberman, professor of American literature at Fitchburg State University, will argue that Melville is an ideal writer for people who describe themselves as romantically skeptical. His speech highlights his own journey towards Melville’s writing, and he will also offer a brief discussion of how he teaches two lesser-known texts (“Benito Cereno” and “Les Encantadas”). Call Us Ishmael chronicles filmmaker David Shaerf’s journey into the world of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Throughout his quest, he meets artists, musicians, teachers and performers, all in a singular search for the white whale. Call Us Ishmael gives viewers a glimpse of a community devoted to this timeless text.
$ 15 BCHS members, $ 20 non-members
COVID-19 COURTESY CODE
The Berkshire County Historical Society is part of a consortium of cultural organizations based in Berkshire, which has developed a unified COVID-19 courtesy code that addresses public safety for all of our visitors. These guidelines have been reviewed and approved by the Berkshire Public Health Alliance and the Tri Town Health Department for their respective communities. For more details, visit mobydick.org.