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berkshire museum

An image that says "The Berkshire COVID Collecting Project: You are living in historic times.  Here’s a chance to be a part of the historical record."
The Berkshire Museum

Three Berkshire County institutions are collaborating on a new project to document life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Berkshire Museum

On Monday, the Berkshire Museum’s board of trustees elected a new leader at its annual meeting. Ethan Klepetar – who has been a board member since 2011 and its vice president since 2015 – succeeds board president Elizabeth “Buzz” McGraw. Klepetar spoke with WAMC about what the move means for him and the Pittsfield, Massachusetts institution, which weathered heavy criticism locally and abroad for its controversial art sale in 2018.

New Berkshire Museum Executive Director Details His Efforts

Apr 5, 2019
Jeff Rodgers stands in front of the Berkshire Museum
Josh Landes / WAMC

Jeff Rodgers started this week as the new executive director of the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Almost a year after announcing his new vision of the Berkshire Museum, Van Shields stepped down from leading the Pittsfield, Massachusetts institution in June 2018. His goal to recreate the museum around a more interactive, science-based model included a plan to sell pieces of its collection to both bolster its endowment and see the transformation through. The move led to local and international condemnation, including protests in Pittsfield and New York City. Now the museum has found a new executive director – Jeff Rodgers, currently the Provost and Chief Operating Officer at the South Florida Museum. The Berkshire Museum isn’t making Rodgers available for interviews, but WAMC spoke today with Ethan Klepetar from the museum’s board of trustees.

It was a busy year in Berkshire County — from infrastructure projects to unprecedented political turnover, and from the conclusion of a controversial art sale to standoffs between workers and employers.

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Declaring an end to its controversial art sale, the Berkshire Museum says it’s moving forward.

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It’s been a long year for the Berkshire Museum as it continues to handle the fallout of its controversial art sale. Intended to raise funds for an endowment and a restructuring of the institution toward interactive, experience-based exhibitions, the sale led to international protest and lawsuits. This week, WAMC checked in with Craig Langlois, the museum’s Chief Experience Officer. A 10-year employee of the Pittsfield institution, he oversees exhibitions, collections, programming, and education for the Berkshire Museum.

A room full of people stand in front of a large sign that says "Andrea Harrington"
Josh Landes / WAMC

With the fall election campaign heating up, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was in the Berkshires Monday.

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Two more artworks from the Berkshire Museum’s collection went up for auction Wednesday. WAMC’s Josh Landes has more.

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This Friday marks one year since the Berkshire Museum announced its controversial art sale plan. 

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Pittsfield Democratic State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier says she stands by the Berkshire Museum following the resignation of Executive Director Van Shields Thursday. Shields joined the museum in 2011.

Protestors at the The Berkshire Museum in 2017.
JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Museum announced Thursday that its executive director is stepping down. Van Shields was one of the architects of the museum’s controversial art sale plan to fund a renovation and endowment.

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The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has announced the next nine artworks from its collection to be auctioned off. WAMC reports the museum is raising money for an endowment and renovation plan.

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The yet-to-open Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art in L.A. has acquired Shuffleton’s Barbershop, a Norman Rockwell painting at the heart of the controversy surrounding the Berkshire Museum’s art sale.

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Representatives of a citizens group that opposes the Berkshire Museum’s controversial art sale are continuing to protest.

Rockwell Work Sold To LA Museum

Apr 12, 2018
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One of the iconic Norman Rockwell artworks sold by the Berkshire Museum as part of a controversial expansion plan has found a home far, far away.

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WAMC's David Guistina talks with Samantha Wood of the Berkshire Eagle about the closure of an animal shelter in Pittsfield and the ongoing litigation involving the sale of a collection of art at the Berkshire Museum.

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A top court in Massachusetts has given the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield a clear path to sell art from its collection to financially stabilize the institution.

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WAMC's David Guistina talks with Samantha Wood, Managing Editor of The Berkshire Eagle, about the continuing controversy surrounding The Berkshire Museum's attempt to sell art from its collection.  They also discuss North Adams' new grant to revitalize Eagle Street.

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Norman Rockwell's three sons have withdrawn from a lawsuit against The Berkshire Museum, which wants to sell one of their father's paintings from its collection.

Protestors at the The Berkshire Museum in 2017.
JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Museum says it and the Massachusetts attorney general's office are moving forward on an agreement related to the museum's future and its controversial decision two sell two Norman Rockwell artworks to fund an expansion. The agreement was announced late Friday. As part of the deal, which must be approved by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the museum would sell Rockwell's "Shuffleton's Barbershop," not at a Sotheby's auction as originally planned, to an unnamed American nonprofit museum. That buyer has agreed to display the artwork and to loan it to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge for 18-24 months. It also will consider loaning it to other Massachusetts museums in the years to follow.

Berkshire Museum, AG Seek Resolution Over Art Sale

Feb 7, 2018
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Since last summer, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has been trying to sell part of its collection including two Normal Rockwell paintings to raise an estimated $60 million for an endowment and a major renovation. But the sale has been put on hold by lawsuits and legal maneuverings as citizens groups, the state and members of the Rockwell family question the legality and wisdom of the art sales. Now there may be a resolution on the horizon. 

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The Massachusetts Attorney General and the Berkshire Museum have agreed to settle a dispute over the sale of 40 artworks from the museum’s collection. The two offices released a joint statement Monday.

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey expects to complete her investigation into the Berkshire Museum by the end of January.

Berkshire Museum Director Returns To Work

Dec 27, 2017
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The Berkshire Museum’s executive director is returning to work amid a controversial plan to sell off art to fund renovations and an endowment. 

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has fired back at the Berkshire Museum, which calls the inquiry into the museum’s planned art sale meritless. 

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The Berkshire Museum says the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office request to extend its inquiry into the Pittsfield museum’s controversial art sale is without merit. 

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office wants more time to investigate the Berkshire Museum’s controversial art sale. 

Berkshire Museum Seeks Trial In Lower Court

Dec 5, 2017
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The Berkshire Museum is renewing calls for a trial at a lower court in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to settle the legal battle over its art controversial sale. The museum wants to sell off art from its collection to fund an endowment and expansion.

JD Allen / WAMC

The legal dispute over the controversial plan to sell art to fund an expansion and endowment at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is moving to a higher court in Boston. 

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