By Nancy Macy
Looking for the ideal venue for your wedding or special event? Treat yourself and your guests to an unforgettable experience by hosting your celebration at an historic site or museum in the Berkshires! In addition to beautiful settings and stunning landscapes, you’ll find exceptional amenities and services to support your needs—from caterers to florists to musicians and more. Consider these and other unique Berkshire locations for a picture-perfect occasion.
Set on 120 acres in Stockbridge, Chesterwood is an historic site and museum, once home to acclaimed American sculptor Daniel Chester French. Event guests can wander in and out of French’s studio and bridal parties can gather in the art-filled space before heading outside for ceremony in the adjacent flower gardens. Just about anywhere on the expansive property affords views of Monument Mountain to the south, a glorious vista that remains much the same as when French bought the property in 1896.
With the beloved artwork of illustrator Norman Rockwell, classic New England architecture, and the Berkshire countryside as a backdrop, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge offers your guests a rich and memorable experience, unlike anywhere else. Outside, a covered slate terrace provides panoramic views for up to 185 guests for late spring, summer, and fall occasions. The 36-acre campus offers plenty of places for a party tent. Inside, your guests have private access to the museum’s galleries, where knowledgeable and engaging docents entertain with stories of Rockwell’s life and artwork capturing the human spirit and ever-relevant life moments.
In Williamstown, the rolling campus of the Clark Art Institute blends contemporary architecture with a breathtaking Berkshire landscape. Punctuated by intimate, artful spaces, this is truly a one-of-a-kind setting for any occasion. The terrace is a popular spot for wedding ceremonies. Receptions of 10 to 225 guests are held inside, catered by the museum’s exclusive culinary partner. Wander the Clark’s art collection during your event—mingling in the presence of a Van Gogh, Degas or Winslow Homer.
The venues at Mass MoCA in North Adams range from intimate galleries to soaring cathedral-like spaces. Wide expanses of hardwood floors, abundant natural light, and white walls set the stage for your event with contemporary artwork by Sol Lewitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, and Gunnar Schonbeck as a magnificent backdrop. Across the street, the Porches Inn offers an artful, eclectic vibe for guest accommodations. A new state-of-the-art event space is slated to open at Porches this summer.
For something completely different, consider the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, just a hop skip and a jump from the Berkshires. Designed by the architectural firm Juster, Pope and Frazier (Juster is author of such popular children’s books as ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ and ‘The Dot and the Line.’), the 40,000-square-foot building is at once modern, playful, and elegant. The light-filled Great Hall leads out to a terrace, grounds and meadow. This is a great location for both book lovers and those who are looking for a stylish, contemporary setting with a verdant, mountain backdrop.
Celebrate your special event with us here in the Berkshires. We’re just a short drive from New York City and Boston—and a world away!
Nancy Macy is a freelance writer and editor based in the Berkshires.