Historical Learning Through Art and Antiques
Antiques provide historical insight, telling us about how people once lived through everyday objects they used and possessed. Families, life-long learners and self-directed teens can learn about history, art, and architecture through visiting historic house museums where primary source materials are on display. Here is a list of a few historic house museums in Western MA to add to your itinerary…
Historic house museums provide people with both historic objects and documents, as well as informational texts to put the objects in a personal context.
Bidwell House Museum
The museum, set in the Berkshire hills, is an elegant Georgian saltbox originally built circa 1750 as a parsonage. Authentically restored, it is filled with antiques and surrounded by beautiful grounds and hiking trails. 413-528-6888. Monterey, MA.
In Williamstown, MA, you can explore four miles of trails past fields, wander through manicured gardens graced by modern sculptures, and discover New England’s youngest historic house museum.413 458-3135. 554 Sloan Road. Williamstown, MA.
Hancock Shaker Village
Hancock Shaker Village is a private, not-for-profit educational organization that preserves and presents to the public the Shakers’ legacy at their community in Hancock, Massachusetts (near Pittsfield). The village is home to several historic buildings including the 1830 Brick Dwelling which houses furniture and artifacts. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield MA.
At Historic Deerfield children and their families can enjoy a trip through time at the Wells-Thorne house, make a visit to the one-room schoolhouse, or use the looms at Hall Tavern. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA.
In Stockbridge, MA, experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate, renowned for its elegant gardens and rare Berkshire “Cottage.” 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA.
Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA, seeks to preserve the home, landscape and material culture of the Skinner family and promote an appreciation of history and culture through educational programs, exhibits and special events. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA.
Sunday, October 2, 2016 — 1:30pm-3pm
You are invited on a guided walk of the grounds at the Keep Homestead Museum. Naturalist and educator Kevin Kopchynsk will share his knowledge of science and ecology. Afterwards you can tour the Keep Homestead Museum, exploring the antique objects and furniture collected by the Keep family who lived there for over 150 years. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, October 8, 2016 — 11am-6pm and October 9, 11am-5pm
The 2016 Antique Dealers Association/Historic Deerfield Antiques Show will bring together antique dealers from across the country. Browse fine art and rare objects –from furnishings to carpets to quilts. Admission to the show includes access to the Flynt Center of Early New England Life and the Apprentice’s Workshop at Dwight House. Deerfield Academy Hockey Rink. 413-774-5581. Albany Road. Deerfield, MA. ($)