The Roads of North America: Part Two
The Roads of North America: Part Two
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Berkshire Photographer Benno Friedman

Early Years: Woodstock, Rolling Stone, Playboy

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/25/2014
Berkshire based photographer, Benno Friedman, bought a camera in a duty free shop in the Amsterdam airport. It was the summer after graduation from college in 1966. Upon returning a friend helped him to process and print the film. Soon that launched into dual career as a commercial and fine arts photographer. That led to assignments like shooting Woodstock for Playboy and Seventeen. He was also a stringer for Rolling Stone. This is part one of a recent extensive interview.

Tony Bennett Returns to Tanglewood

American Jazz Master Flat Out at 88

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By: Charles Giuliano - 09/01/2014
The Tanglewood season closed with a near to capacity audience for national treasure Tony Bennett. Closing in on 90 yet again he uniquely rattled the renowned rusty pipes. He proved why Frank Sintra hailed him as the greatest jazz singer of his generation. Keeping forever young he is about to release an album of duets with Lady Gaga.

Premiere of Works by Stephen Dankner

Clark Features Berkshire Composer October 12

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By: Stephen Dankner - 09/01/2014
During a recent meeting in Williamstown the Berkshire Composer and Berkshire Fine Arts contributor, Stephen Denkner, discussed several world premieres over the next couple of months. His Quartets Nos. 14, 16 and 17 will be performed by the Dover String Quartet at the Clark Art Institute on October 12 at 3 PM.

The Freud Machine

Taking Responsibility for Opinions We Promulgate

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By: David Zaig - 09/02/2014
As an artist, I learned to understand that in this world of ours we humans must take responsibility for the opinions we promulgate: that means, ideally, we ought to search for the data to support what we say. We take notions such as subjectivity, creativity, feelings, or likes and dislikes for granted. Let’s not forget that, first, these notions are words--words we inherited and use automatically, words that can be skewed when translated into action, and as such misrepresent and distort our perception of the world.

Fresh Grass Set for September 19-21

Lineup for Mass Moca Event.

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By: MoCA - 03/18/2014
Fresh Grass returns to Mass MoCA from September 19 to 21. This year's lineup is the deepest yet, including The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn,Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, David Grisman Sextet, The Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Aoife O'Donovan, Rodney Crowell, Sam Amidon, Liam Ó Manolaí, Michael Cleveland,Claire Lynch,Darol Anger, Martha Redbone Roots Project, and more to be announced later in the spring. Last year's FreshGrass Award recipient, Cricket Tell the Weather, will take the stage for a full set.

My Name is Asher Lev at Timeline

Chaim Potok's Portrait of an Artist in Chicago

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By: Susan Hall - 08/31/2014
My Name is Asher Lev is the story of a boy brought up in an insular world with very particular beliefs and practices. Until recently this world has succeeded in keeping its own in the fold. Very few escape or leave behind the families, religious observances and commitment of the Hasidic world. Lubavitcher ambulances rush all over the boroughs of New York today. Live chickens arrive to be properly slaughtered in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Young couples are married as soon as parents can make an arrangement. They don’t have a chance to think about leaving when they are surrounded by a gaggle of young children. You still see teenage mothers aged by their wigs and their nun-like dress and tied down by several kids hanging from their hems.

Two Gentleman of Verona at Old Globe

Shakespeare Summer Season to September 14

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By: Jack Lyons - 08/22/2014
This time The Old Globe wraps up their highly successful 2014 Shakespeare Summer Season with the delightfully entertaining rom/com “Two Gentlemen of Verona”, directed by acclaimed Globe Alum and Tony Award nominee Mark Lamos.

The Future of Theatre

Theatre Communications Group Conference

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By: Jack Lyons - 08/29/2014
When seeking news of what’s happening in American not-for-profit theatre, you can track those happenings via the Theatre Communications Group (TCG). Once a year the organization convenes its National Conference in a different city, allowing members and interested parties to come together, press the flesh, attend workshops and panels, and exchange ideas on the state and future of American theatre.

The Vaccination Divide

Exploring the Pros and Cons

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By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/25/2014
Faith based and other concerned parents have opted not to vaccinate their children. This can result in outbreaks in formerly widely preventable diseases. There are concerns that vaccinations may in fact induce dangerous side effects inluding an inclination for autism. Our science correspondent, a firm advocate of vaccination, explores the issues and risk factors.

Salamander a 12 Part Belgian Thriller

Compelling Series on Netflix

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/29/2014
We devoured the 12 part Belgian series "Salamander" over three riveting evenings. Starting as a not so unique bank robbery the master mind has more than theft planned for the 66 owners of targeted private boxes in the vault. The real motive is to bring down a powerful cabal with the code name Salamander surviving from a WWII Resistance group.

Defining an Artist

Honorific vs. Generic

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/30/2014
Anyone who hangs a few pictures in a coffee shop is a self proclaimed artist or photographer. Is anyone who makes art an artist? Does posting comments to Facebook make one a critic? Does posting snap shots of your cat or kids qualify as art? Despite decades as a successful commercial and fine arts photographer the Berkshire based Benno Friedman, during an extensive interview, explains why he hestitates to call himself an artist.

Uncle Vanya in Weston, Vermont

New Adaptation Tuned to American Audiences

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By: Leanne Jewett - 08/30/2014
Chekhov strove to make his works "just as complicated and just as simple as ... in real life," He wrote, "People are sitting at a table having dinner, that's all, but at the same time their happiness is being created, or their lives are being torn apart." This production of Uncle Vanya shares Chekhov’s intentions and brings his work to life much as he must have envisioned.

TRAIN Keeps Chugging at Tanglewood

Wallflowers Shared the Stage

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By: Philip Kampe and Maria Reveley - 08/30/2014
TRAIN brought down the house at Tanglewood. In a return to the Berkshires classic TRAIN songs were mixed with songs from the upcoming new album, titled ‘Bulletproof Picasso.’ Yet again the middle aged rockers thrilled an audience of teenieboppers.

Art and Fashion

No Regrets

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By: Charles Giuliano - 09/01/2014
Once celebrated artists no longer are. One of them was Jennifer Bartlett. Even then I was not impressed.

Josh Groban At Tanglewood

Falling in Love Again

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By: Philip Kampe and Maria Reveley - 09/01/2014
Humor, wit, charm and good looks equal Josh Groban. Like local favorite, Arlo Guthrie, Groban is a master storyteller.

A Secret Passage Way - 2014

Global Call to Participate in Photo Project

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By: Astrid Hiemer - 06/17/2014
From February to May we invited participants to submit photographs and words via email and Face Book representing passages in any way real or imagined. Collaborators expanded the project in amazing and unexpected directions. Here is the resulting digital exhibition:


Gyor, Budapest and Szentendre

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By: Zeren Earls - 07/14/2014
Since freeing itself from communism in 1980, Hungary has blossomed into a westernized country. Gyor and Szentendre are charming small towns with a variety of cafes, restaurants, craft and sweet shops. The capital Budapest on the Danube is a beautiful city with great monuments, fashionable avenues, elegant shops, and a vibrant night life.

Jamie Wyeth at the MFA

Good Genes

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/22/2014
Outgoing populist and vulgarian, MFA director Malcolm Rogers, has orchestrated yet another celebrity based, crowd pleasing exhibition. The traveling restrospective of paintings by Jamie, a third generation manifestation of the famous Wyeth dynasty, is actually kind of fun. Where the work fits in the canon of the art of our time, however, is another matter.

Jim Hodges at the ICA

Summer in the City

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/23/2014
The artist Jim Hodges came to New York in the 1980s at a time when AIDS was decimating the arts community. Like others of his generation his work responded to a sense of devastation and loss. A retrospecitve of his eclectic conceptual work is on view at Boston's ICA until September 1.

Re-Introducing The Rhino Horn Group

Evolved from Figurative Expressionism

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 07/24/2014
When Pop Art dominated the art world and mass-media a group of New York expressionists said no thanks. The primal, raucous, and confrontational approach to painting exhibited by the group’s members kept the emotional impact of Figurative Expressionism alive. However, aesthetic tradition was less important than the moral obligation of depicting the reality that the artists perceived. This put the Rhino Horn artists at odds with many of the mainstream artists that had turned away from expressionism and humanist art.

Love Made Visible by Jean Gibran

A Complex Book on Her Husband Kahlil Gibran

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/27/2014
Decades ago the sculptor Kahlin Gibran and his wife Jean purchased a shell in Boston's ethnically mixed South End. A meticulous craftsman the home evolved as a museum of his work and collection. Together they wrote a definitive 1974 biography "Kahlil Gibran, His Life and World." Now Jean has published "Love Made Visible: Scenes from a Mostly Happy Marriage" about a complex relationship with her late husband.

Encountering Louis Comfort Tiffany in the Berkshires

Exquisite Windows of St. Stephen's Church in Pittsfield

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By: Maria Reveley - 08/05/2014
Louis Comfort Tiffany's windows adorn Pittsfield's St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at Park Square. With the exception of the sanctuary windows, the stained glass windows were commissioned either from the Tiffany Glass Company of New York or Mary Tillinghast, who had been a pupil and partner of the master of American glass John La Farge. All were created and installed in the late 1890s.

Cogito Ergo Sum Ok Now What?

The Mind Is What the Brain Does

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By: David Zaig - 08/06/2014
We are supposed to love, feel, and have emotions, but not supposed to know what the mechanisms are that make us behave that way. That is too much to ask. So now, it’s normal to say, “I feel” or “I love” without having to explain how these emotions came about. This is the accepted standard for social and human behavior—it’s very much a fixture of our psyche and the cause for our societal chaos, helplessness, confusion, and mindlessness.

Rudd Art Museum in North Adams

Presenting Berkshire Artists

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Fine Arts
By: Keith Shaw - 08/06/2014
As artists approach their senior years familiar issues arise. Unless they reach a level of broad recognition and market value for the work there is the challenge of legacy and handling of estates. North Adams based artist/ author and developer, Eric Rudd, has written a book on these concerns and by creating his own museum in North Adams is taking action to address them. Art historian and former Berkshire Eagle critic, Keith Shaw, is assisting Rudd by curating exhibitions based on artists living and working in the region. Here he discusses what that entails.

WAM Theatre Fresh Takes

reading of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George

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By: WAM - 08/11/2014
WAM Theatre will present the reading on Sunday, August 17 at 3:00 p.m. at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA. Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England is the fourth presentation in the new Fresh Takes play reading series, which offers new and reimagined works that tell women’s stories. The series has proven popular with audiences and the first three readings sold out.

NY Times Zings Mass MoCA

Mixed Report on $25.4 Million from Commonwealth

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/22/2014
Twelve days after breaking news the New York Times has reported on $25.4 million in Commonwealth funding for the $50 million renovation of the final phase of build out for Mass MoCA. While damning the museum with faint praise the Times drags up an eight year old controversy of a botched installation by Christoph Buchel. The reporter probed far and wide for on and off the record smears of the museum and its critical reputation.

Magna Carta at the Clark

1215 and All That

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By: Clark - 08/29/2014
Magna Carta comes to the Clark courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral as part of the United Kingdom’s preparations for celebrating the document’s 800th anniversary in 2015. The Lincoln Cathedral Exemplar of Magna Carta is widely regarded as the finest extant copy of the document due to the fact that it is written in an ‘official’ hand and has remained at Lincoln since the time of its first issue.

Finding Neverland A Spectacular Journey

American Rep Wows With Broadway Bound Musical

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By: Mark Favermann - 08/15/2014
Based upon the story of the creation of the 1904 now classic play Peter Pan, Finding Neverland at the American Repertory Theatre is a wonderful theatrical multigenerational event. With spectacular performances, magnificent stagecraft and beautiful music, this is a sight and sound treat. Already set for Broadway in 2015, getting a ticket might be difficult, but well worth the effort. Bravo Diane Paulus and A.R. T.!

Cape Ann Museum Reopens

Tour with Director Ronda Faloon

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/15/2014
The Cape Ann Museum has raised $5 million with $3.5 for a renovation of its eclectic warren of buildings and galleries. Just prior to the recent reopening we were given a tour of the collection by the museum's director Ronda Faloon. The collection displays all aspects of life on historic Cape Ann. Its heart and soul comprises 40 paintings and 100 drawings by America's most renowned 19th century painter of seascapes Fitz Henry Lane. There are also many works by leading artists who were a part of the art colony.

The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns

Fun and Frolics at Weston Theatre’s Second Stage

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By: Leanne Jewett - 08/16/2014
For pure, unadulterated entertainment the juke box musical The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns can’t be beat. It’s polished and professional while retaining the freshness of youth and good-natured fun. It is basically a family-friendly burlesque, a humorous exaggeration of the teen years and loves of four young women.

James Conlon Conducts Marriage of Figaro at Ravinia

John Relyea and Lisette Oropesa Sublime with the Chicago Symphony

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By: Susan Hall - 08/16/2014
The Chicago Symphony was red hot when it embarked on the overture to Figaro. They relished the challenge and it paid off for listeners. One of the reasons that you can’t put a B cast to perform familiar music is that the audience knows the music so well. The performance has to be perfect. With Assistant concert master Stephanie Jeong leading, this Mozart was sublime.

Mozart and Puccini Come to Life at HHOT

Grand Opera in Cambridge, New York

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By: Chris Buchanan - 08/17/2014
Le Nozze di Figaro and Gianni Schicchi play through August 24.“Gianni Schicchi” is a little known gem that you absolutely must go to see. As to "Nozze di Figaro", it is a long evening, but well worth it.

Boston Modern by Judith Bookbinder

Definitive Study of Boston Expressionism

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/18/2014
Judith Bookbinder's 2005 publication Boston Modern: Figurative Expressionism as Alternative Modernism is the definitive study of this important but neglected movement. Her study is meticulously researched and documented. This is the catalogue for the exhibition that the Museum of Fine Arts has failed to deliver. Significantly most of the Boston Expressionists were Jews struggling with Biblical constraints against the graven image.

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

A Copper in BBC Hit on Netflix

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/24/2014
Sarah Lancashire is familiar to PBS viewers as the lesbian head mistress in Sally Wainwright's series Last Tango in Halifax. She has written a news cop series Happy Valley built around Lancashire. The hit, six part BBC series is now avaiable for binge viewing on Netflix.

Exhibit in Grant Park Addresses Ferguson

Unspeakable Times Are Soothed by Chicago's Statues

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By: Susan Hall - 08/25/2014
The figures are iron and aluminum, but to me and many others they stood for black and white. People of all colors are walking and seated in the Georg Solti Park in Grant Park, Chicago. These sculptures invite quiet contemplation of the state of race relations in this country this August.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at Pillow

82nd Season Ends with Neo Classical Modernism

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/25/2014
The 82nd season of Jacob's Pillow Dance ended with the fifth Berkshire performance of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. With a program of works by three choreographers the company conflated classical traditions and contemporary variations. Post season we anticipate the annual collaboration with Mass MoCA.

Open Letter to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

My Theatrical Response to Disaster in Ferguson

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By: Larry Stark - 08/29/2014
Back in the day Larry Stark was the theatre critic for Boston After Dark which elided as The Boston Phoenix. He has covered theatre for decades currently with his website Theatre Mirror. Following up on campaign promises Stark in an open letter has questions for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "To put it bluntly Mayor, I voted for you Only because I thought at the time that your commitment to The Arts was genuine."

September Song

Reaping What We Sow

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By: Charles Giuliano - 08/30/2014
Arma virumque cano.

Vaccination Followup

Poor Former Dr. Wakefield

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By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/31/2014
In this sidebar to the Vaccination Divide we discuss the contoversies surrounding the research of Dr. Andrew Wakefield who uncovered links between autism and a particular type of gut inflammation. Eventually his findings were discredieted and his liscense to practice medicine was revoked. But he is correct that aluminum toxicity is capable of doing real damage.

Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA for 15 Years

Building Developed with Hall Art Foundation

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/27/2013
In collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation a building dedicated to works by the German artist, Anselm Kiefer, will be on view at Mass MoCA for the next 15 years. Combined with the 25 year agreement for the Sol LeWitt building this greatly enhances the museum as America's foremost destination for contemporary art.

Izhar Patkin's Space Time Continuum

The Wandering Veil at Mass MoCA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/19/2014
In the vast space of Building Five, for the coming year, Mass MoCA is hosting a retrospective for the Israeli born artist Izhar Patkin. A series of rooms features Veils inspired by the poems of a collaborator, the deceased Pakistani poet, Agha Shahid Ali. The artist is challenged by solving technical problems for a variety of approaches to painting in sculpture in a range of media. Central to his practice is a commitment to modernist inspired narratives devoid of the irony of post modernism.

Israeli Izhar Patkin Debates Jewish Art

Secular Narratives When God Is Dead

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/21/2014
During a dialogue with the artist Izhar Patkin about his Mass MoCA exhibition David Ross hit a dead end when he asked whether there is a Jewish art? At this point in post modernism, with more than a century since Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Chaim Soutine or Amedeo Modigliani, it is not a question that one would ask a Jewish American artist. But is it relevant for an Israeli Sabra?

Joe Thompson on Mass MoCA Expansion

Part One on Phase Three

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano and Joe Thompson - 03/09/2014
Several months ago we spoke in depth with Joe Thompson about a bill pending on Beacon Hill to grant $25 million toward the final phase of developing the North Adams campus of Mass MoCA. This week, early August, 2014 the bill has been signed by outgoing Governor Deval Patrick a Berkshire neighbor of the museum. Thompson, as he discusses here, must raise an additional $30 million for the project which will take several years.

Huntington Theatre Company 2014-2015

Six Shows Plus One

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By: Huntington - 03/18/2014
Huntington Theatre Company announces six productions of its 2014-2015 Season plus one additional title. Continuing its 32-year tradition, the Huntington will present world-class productions of new works and classics made current created by the finest local and national talent. The varied lineup includes a Tony Award-winning Broadway comedy, a thrilling new play set in Boston, a new play by a celebrated local writer that riffs on a beloved classic, a revival of a provocative comedy, a classic American drama, and a topical new play directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, plus the return of visionary director David Cromer (Our Town).

PBS Fall Programming

Season Launches with The Roosevelts September 14

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By: PBS - 05/08/2014
The Roosevelts kicks off PBS’ fall season Sunday, September 14, with an epic seven-night premiere. The 14-hour documentary airs nightly at 8 p.m. through Saturday, September 20 with a repeat at 10 p.m., and for the first time on television weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

German Master Surveyed at MoMA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/03/2014
Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) was one of the most important Post War German artists. He is the subject of a dense, sprawling and and messy retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art through August 3. It would be a folly and conceit to attempt to review such diverse and eclectic, mind boggling work. For that we refer you to mainstream critics all of whom fail, to varying degrees, to nail down the work of one of the most fascinating and daunting artists of our time.

Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges

Bringing Iconic American Art to Arkansas

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/11/2014
During our visit to Crystal Springs Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas we met with museum spokesperson Diane Carol. Fending off questions of media controversy regarding aggressive acquisitions she emphasized that the museum is free and serves a region that lacks resources of its quality. As she pointed out since opening in 11/11/11 some 1.3 million visitors have viewed "Kindred Spirits" by Asher B. Durand which formerly hung in the New York Public Library.

A Roman Holiday

Mange Bene

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By: Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley - 07/26/2014
This is a lively guide to a four day Roman Holiday. Our overview provides links to accomodations and tours as well as lists of favorite restaurants and recipes. This will serve as a guide to a delicious taste of the food and wine of Italy.

Descartes to Yogi Berra

When You Come to the Fork in the Road Take It

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By: David Zaig - 08/19/2014
The artist/ playwright/ thinker David Zaig evokes Descartes and Yogi Berra in a lively response to dissent aroused by his recent ruminations in Berkshire Fine Arts. Here he brings more depth and insight to those previous discussions.

Il Pane Degliangeli, Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries of the Uffizi Gallery

On View at Savannah’s Telfair Museums Through March 31

read Il Pane Degliangeli, Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries of the Uffizi Gallery
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 03/07/2013
The venerable Ufizzi Museum in Florence has tarnished its reputation by packaging works from storage and sending them to four out of the mainstream American museums. We viewed the final destination of the revenue generating tour at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia.

ArtsEmerson Announces 2013-2014 Program

Fourth Season Starts September 17

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By: Emerson - 04/12/2013
ArtsEmerson announces the first half of its fourth theatre season, beginning in the fall of 2013. This announcement covers productions into January of 2014, with more winter/spring productions to be announced later. Tickets for these productions go on sale to ArtsEmerson members on April 12, and to the general public on May 3.

Figurative Expressionism in Provincetown

PAAM Exhibition Through September 2

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/21/2013
Following World War II the matrix of global contemporary art shifted from Paris to New York with the development of abstract expressionism as the leading movement of contemporary art of that era. During the 1950s there was much speculation about a Return to the Figure. Young artists who flocked to Provincetown to study with Hans Hofmann and Henry Hensche explored a synthesis through Figurative Expressionism. A number of these artists showed with Sun Gallery in Provincetown and Hansa Gallery in New York. The exhibition "Pioneers from Provincetown: The Roots of Figurative Expressionism" curated by Adam Zucker, Co-curator, Stephanie DeTroy focuses on this important movement.

Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil

Vast Installation at Mass MoCA on View for a Year

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 12/05/2013
Building Five of Mass MoCA is one of the largest and most magnificent spaces for contemporary art in North America. It is always fascinating to see how artists respond to the daunting challenge. Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil is now on view for the coming year.

WAM Theatre Announces 2014 Season

Focus on Women and Girls

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By: WAM - 02/25/2014
WAM Theatre’s Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven announces highlights of the 2014 season. The Berkshire-based professional theatre company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with plays readings, special events, panel discussions, and educational programs that focus on women artists and stories of women

Harvard Art Museums Open November 16

Renovation by Renco Piano Conflates Separate Museums

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By: Harvard - 03/11/2014
The Harvard Art Museums—comprising the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum—will open their new Renzo Piano-designed facility to the public on November 16, 2014. The renovation and expansion of the museums’ landmark building at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge will bring the three museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time

Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism

April Kingsley's Catalogue for Michigan State University

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/19/2014
While curator of Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University from 1999 to 2011 April Kingsley had the resources and inspiration to collect works by the undervalued and poorly understood artists of the Figurative Expressionist movement. It was widely felt among artists that there would be a return to the figure informed by but diverging from abstract expressionism. Aspects of this experimentation occurred with little or no direct communication in New York, Provincetown, Boston, and the Bay Area of San Francisco. This book fails to present a cohesive overview of those complex developments.

Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr.

The Actor Celebrates His Father

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 06/26/2014
"Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro Sr." is a short documentary tribute in which the actor pays homage to his father. It examines the art and life of a Figurative Expressionist painter from the New York School.

Japanese Architect Tadao Ando: A Portrait

Pritzker Prize Winner Designed Clark Art Institute Expansion

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By: Charles Giuliano - 06/28/2014
Initially the 72-year-old Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, trained to be a professional boxer. When he became interested in architecture he read books and traveled extensively to see works by modern masters. In 1970 he returned from travel and field research to establish his firm. In 1995 he won the Pritzker Prize the most prestigious in the field. Followed by a film crew we tagged along when he surveyed his now completed design for the Clark Art Institute.

Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith

Special Exhibition for The Clark Art Institute

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/03/2014
As a part of its expansion and renovation, taking advantage of appropriately scaled new special exhibition space, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Insitute is progressing beyond its tradition roots by showcasing modern and contemporary art. Currently there is Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith. In August the museum will feature Make It New master works of American modernism from the National Gallery.

Javier Perianes Debuts at Ravinia

An Enchanter Beguiles at the Keyboard

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By: Susan Hall - 08/23/2014
Javier Perianes has been nurtured by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Charles Dutoit. Already he has appeared at Carnegie Hall and in San Francisco. He performs Grieg with the Atlanta Symphony in November and is scheduled for both the Boston and Chicago Symphonies in 2015-16. At Ravinia you could hear why much is expected of this charming, impish and technically fabulous artist.

Marjorie Minkin’s Lexan Painted Reliefs

Collaborations with Her Son Mike Gordon of Phish

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/28/2014
During the final days of her exhibition at the Eclipse Mill Gallery in North Adams, Mass. we spoke with Marjorie Minkin about her painted Lexan reliefs. We discussed the current exhibition and background of her relationship with renowned critic, Clement Greenberg, and curator/ critic, Kenworth Moffett. As well as a 2005/06 project in collaboration with her son Mike Gordon of the rock band Phish and engineer Jamie Robertson.

Ann Hamilton Bangs on a Can

Paper Sounding Premieres at Mass MoCA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/30/2014
With just four rehearsal sessions in less than a week installatin artist, Ann Hamilton, returned to Mass MoCA to create a piece for some thirty individuals "Paper Sounding" as a part of the annual Bang on a Can festival. The spontaneous and lively work was co directed by Mark Stewart and David Cossin. The performance was our introducton to an area of the vast Building Six which the museum hopes soon to develop. We spoke with Hamilton about the significance of paper in her practice.

More Than a Basic Wine Course

Wine Made Simple

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By: Philip S. Kampe - 08/10/2014
This is a basic wine course that will help you to understand wine. There are Saturday afternoon tastings at Nejaimes’s wines in both Lenox and Stockbridge and Spirited Wines in Lenox. Your local shop in West Stockbridge, Housatonic, Adams, North Adams or Williamstown may do the same.

Reasons to Be Pretty at Geffen Playhouse

Neil LaBute Play Through August 31

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By: Jack Lyons - 08/15/2014
In his latest play “Reasons to be Pretty”, directed by artistic director Randall Arney, now playing on the Gil Cates stage of the Geffen Playhouse, Neil LaBute introduces us to four characters in their mid-twenties, who are what some might label as border-line losers. The younger generation come off as spoiled, self-indulgent, and suffering from a lack of parental oversight when they were growing up. And, they’re still not grownups when we catch up with them.

A Welcome Settlement at the Met

The Unions and Management Both Give Ground

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By: Susan Hall - 08/21/2014
From inside the Met: "Both sides gave in. This is heartening. The three big unions took income reductions, even though they are not the massive reductions Gelb wanted. One of the good things is having some oversight on Gelb's spending. A big concern house-wide has been Gelb's tendency to over-spend without thinking things through." It appears that by settling with unions there will not be the anticipated lockout and the Metropolitan Opera will launch its season on schedule. We dig below the surface of this news for an understanding of long term implications for the Met and the struggle to sustain opera as an expesnive and viable cultural resource.

Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas

All the Museum that Walmart Money Can Buy

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/10/2014
After extensive renovation and expansion the Clark Art Institute reopens this summer. Much is being made of how its Tadeo Ando designed low lying horizontal line and large reflecting pool embrace nature and the background rolling mountain range. The paradigm for architecture set into natural surroundings, however, is the Moshe Safdie design for Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. It is nestled into a ravine with a series of pontoon "bridges." The museum which opened on 11/11/11 has some 500,000 annual visitors for its controversial collection of American art.

BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season

Welcomes Andris Nelsons

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By: BSO - 03/06/2014
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season shines a welcoming spotlight on Andris Nelsons as he makes hihighly anticipated debut as BSO Music Director, leading performances that feature an eclectic offering of music and an impressive lineup of guest artists, and presenting programs that illuminate touchstone moments in his life as a musician, from his youngest days as a child in Riga, to his present-day stature as one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Mr. Nelsons takes on the title of BSO Music Director in September 2014, at age 35, he will be the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.

Franz West at Mass MoCA and WCMA

From Actionism to the Absurd

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/21/2014
The Austrian artist Franz West (16 February 1947- 25 July 2012). is being featured this summer in the Northern Berkshires. There is a display of several large scale, puffy, pink phallic sculptures at Mass MoCA and a tandem exhibition of works on paper and smaller scale sculptures at Williams College Museum of Art. The artist was widely included in global biennials and museum exhibitions including a retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art. We consider West in the milieu of post war artists in Vienna including its outrageous Actionists.