|Berkshire Museum presents 120th: Building the Museum|
|12:28PM / Monday, October 02, 2023|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum announced the second installment of its 120th-anniversary celebration, an exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through the history of the Museum and the world during the 1940s, '50s, '60s, and '70s.
Titled 120th: Building the Museum – 1939-1978, this exhibition is set to be on display from Oct. 7, 2023, through Jan. 7, 2024.
Focused on the leadership of Stuart Henry – whose tenure as Director of the Berkshire Museum spanned a total of 39 years. This exhibition offers an opportunity to step back in time and explore the Berkshire Museum through the headlines, stories, and cultural phenomena that shaped an era.
Under Henry's visionary guidance, the Museum not only weathered the challenges of wartime but also thrived, becoming a cultural hub for the community.
From the formation of the Junior Naturalist Club in 1945 to the growth of the Museum's Camera Club and the filming of the 1968 NBC Children's Theater adaptation of "The Enormous Egg" by Oliver Butterworth, this exhibition captures the essence of an era marked by innovation and cultural exploration. Notably, the exhibition showcases four triceratops models designed by the renowned Louis Paul Jonas Studio, creators of the Berkshire Museum's beloved "World in Miniature" dioramas.
A significant portion of the exhibition features artworks and objects donated to the Museum between 1939 and 1978. These contributions include pieces from A.E. Gallatin's collection of abstract art, the Spalding collection of Asian art, and the Hahn Silver Collection. By highlighting these donations, the exhibition sheds light on the enduring support and enthusiasm of the Museum's dedicated patrons.
In addition to exploring the Museum's evolution, 120th: Building the Museum – 1939-1978 delves into the rapid growth of General Electric in Pittsfield during this period. This local industrial giant left an indelible mark on the region's population and economy, a story told through the exhibition's immersive displays and engaging narratives.
"This exhibition recalls a period of tremendous growth within the community and the museum. Between 1939 and 1978, the museum received an important collection of modern art and presented ground-breaking exhibitions, while the formation of museum clubs and exciting programs helped to position the museum as an important fixture in the region," said Berkshire Museum's Chief Curator, Jesse Kowalski.