Great Barrington Historians Receive $1,500 Grant

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Many of Marie Tassone's photos will be on display throughout the year. This photo was shot at the fairgrounds.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Photographer Marie Tassone documented everyday life in the town from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Now, the Great Barrington Historical Society is archiving and inventorying her work after receiving a $1,500 Mass Humanities grant.

Society President James Mercer said the state Research Inventory Grant “advances the society’s mission to preserve, protect and stimulate awareness of our great history.” He credits the society’s treasurer Sharon Genin for her “dogged pursuit” of funding to continue the project begun by the society in January.

The project will culminate in several exhibits of the Tassone photos, including one on images of the former Barrington Fair.

“We are extremely pleased that the importance of the archival holdings has been recognized by the state of Massachusetts," Genin said. "This grant helps the work being done by Margaret Cherin and her team of hard-working volunteers.”

Cherin, who holds master' degrees in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and library science/archival management from Simmons College in Boston, has been inventorying the collection, cataloging and identifying the many photos and negatives, which are held in storage upstairs at the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic. A resident of South Egremont, she is the exhibitions curator and college archivist at Bard College of Simon’s Rock.

Born in 1904, Tassone came to Great Barrington in 1936 and lived there until her death in 1990. Her photos are a substantial part of the Historical Society's collection and, beginning in July, will start to be exhibited at the society’s headquarters at the Capt. Truman Wheeler homestead and museum at 817 South Main St. The exhibits will rotate and feature various themes of Tassone’s work.

Genin said that in receiving the grant, “it makes GBHS eligible for further archival funding by Mass Humanities, which looks to advance the interpretation and presentation of state history.”

More  information is available at gbhistory.org. Lectures featuring prominent historical topics are held monthly.

Tags: historical,   historical society,   photography,   

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