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Visit some of the iconic Norman Rockwell holiday paintings at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. Included in the collection is “Community Supper,” which was a 1958 illustration for the Farming Tractor Calendar of the Ford Motor Company.  Image courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Rediscovering the Traditions Of the Holiday Season

The Southern Berkshires, more than any other place in the world, evoke a Norman Rockwell kind of holiday season because, of course, Rockwell lived here and often painted scenes of Stockbridge, Mass., where he lived and worked, and which is the site of  the Norman Rockwell Museum. 

Gingerbread houses don’t have to only be houses. Brittany Hrabcsak’s award-winning North Pole recreation was one of the highlights of the
2019 Gingerbread Festival in Kent, Conn. 
Photo by Lans Christensen​

Gingerbread Festivals in Two Area Towns

Gingerbread houses can be fun and simple or over-the-top elaborate; you can bake the cookies from your own dough and assemble them yourself or you can buy any of a dozen or so easy-to-find gingerbread kits. 

No matter how you get there, it’s all fun — and what evokes childhood fantasy more than being able to eat a house? 

What looks like a Great Master-style painting peeks out from behind a cascade of drapery at an antiques store in Rome in a new collection of photos and musings about the Italian capital by photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron and writer Andre Aciman. Photo by Jeannette Montgomery Barron​

Truly a ‘Dream’ Vacation: Whiling Away the Hours in Rome

You don’t need to be reminded at this point that domestic travel is difficult (and becoming more difficult) and that foreign travel is, literally, impossible.


Annie Dorsen, an award-winning expert on artificial intelligence and experimental theater, will talk about the intersection of her specialties on Nov. 14. Photo submitted​

Is AI Our Friend, Enemy or Entertainment?

Annie Dorsen, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, an Alpert Award in the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship,  will give a talk for the Cornwall Library on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. via Zoom. 

New Yorker writer and author Adam Gopnik is the Salisbury Forum speaker on Friday, Nov. 20. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe​

Adam Gopnik, Seeking Sanity, in A Forum Talk

Adam Gopnik, a veteran contributor to The New Yorker magazine, reprises his 2016 appearance at the Salisbury Forum in a Zoom webinar on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m., with a timely and critical look at liberal democracy, its strategies for survival, and its risks of extinction. 

Edouard Manet’s “Oysters” from 1862 is one of the many
illustrations Maryann Tebben uses to explain the ways that French
cuisine is inextricably bound with that nation’s culture. 
Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.​

Food for Thought in a New History of French Cuisine

Not everyone sees it as cuisine; some people just consider it food. But whether you’re devoted to the simple cooking of your childhood or the elevated gastronomy of kings and socialites, you understand that what we cook and what we eat shapes more than just our bodies; it also shapes our culture and our view of the world.

Robert Oakes will talk about his book, “Ghosts of the Berkshires,” Oct. 28. Photo submitted​

Tales of Old Ghosts Of New England

It’s called “New” England but our region is, of course, one of the oldest parts of the U.S., so of course there are more stories about ghosts and ghouls and the unexplained here than there are in newer, shinier parts of the country. 

“Reproduction,” a photo on canvas by Susan Rostenberg, is part of the Great Hollow Invitational Art Show in Sherman, Conn., and a focus of
 a talk on the famous Rostenberg conifer garden, called
Peter’s Opus. 
Photo by Susan Rostenberg 

A Virtual Glimpse into an Enchanted Conifer Garden

This is the time of year when we begin to think of evergreens and pine cones in preparation for the winter months and snow and holiday-season wreaths. 

Just in time, there will be an online presentation about conifers sponsored by the Sherman, Conn., library as part of the Great Hollow Invitational Art Show. 


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