Ventfort Hall Plans Trip to See Sargent Charcoals

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LENOX, Mass. — Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum is offering a day trip to New York for an exclusive viewing of the exhibit titled "John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal" at the Morgan Library & Museum slated for Wednesday, Jan. 8.

This is a rare opportunity to view with an art specialist 53 charcoal portraits by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), America's greatest portrait painter of his time. These drawn works of art represent a substantial, yet often overlooked, part of his practice – they number more than 750 in total - and demonstrate the same sense of immediacy, psychological insight and mastery of light and shade that animate Sargent’s sitters on canvas. This is the first major exhibition to explore these expressive portraits in charcoal.

The exhibit includes important international loans from both public and private collections, showcasing Sargent's sitters, many of them famous for their roles in politics, society and the arts.  They represent telling records of artistic and cultural friendships, as well as the network of patronage that underpinned Sargent's practice as a portrait artist.

Ventfort Hall has made arrangements for the trip via private motor coach leaving from the mansion, 104 Walker St. in Lenox, at 9 a.m. and arriving back at 7 p.m. All-day parking at Ventfort Hall is arranged. The cost of the trip is $165 and includes motor coach transportation, admission, private tour and a $50 fully tax-deductible donation to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. Lunch at the library's restaurant is separate. For information or reservations, call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206.


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Mass Audubon Schedules Vacation Week programs

LENOX, Mass. - Mass Audubon has scheduled programs for both February school vacation - Winter Adventure Vacation Week - and April school vacation - Spring Explorers Vacation Week.

Winter Adventure Vacation Week will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday, Feb. 17, through Friday, Feb. 21, at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Road, in Lenox. Instructors will be Max Galdos-Shapiro, the Berkshire Sanctuaries education coordinator, and naturalist Zach Adams. Suitable for children ages 7 to 12, the week will help children learn about wildlife that stays active in the cold and snow, and the adaptations that enable them to survive. Depending on the conditions, kids will build snow shelters and snowshoe or hike to "secret" parts of the sanctuary. Children should dress for the weather, with warm outerwear and waterproof boots required, and bring a lunch and two snacks each day.

Spring Explorers Vacation Week will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, through Friday, April 24, also at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and with the same instructors. Spring is a great time to experience the natural world as plants and wildlife awaken, energized and full of life. Explore our forests, ponds, and wetlands for new plant growth, early bird arrivals, and emerging amphibians and reptiles. Children should dress for the weather; mud boots are a must. Bring a lunch and two snacks each day.

Families can sign up for one, two, three, four or all five days in each session; registration fee is $240 member or $320 non-member per week or $50 member or $65 non-member per day. Register online or call for daily registration at 413-637-0320. Space is limited; early registration is recommended.


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