by Mary McGurn
As a student traveling abroad in the 60’s, I decided that a charm bought in every country I visited would be one way to remember my travels. Italy remembered with a papal mitre; France remembered with the Eiffel Tower; the Netherlands remembered with a windmill; Germany remembered with a beer stein and so on. Since then, I’ve always shopped for a memory of place on my travels. And, if you do the same, then one community of merchants nestled in the very heart of the Berkshires – Lenox – is where you’ll find yours.
If your memory is destined to grace the walls of home or office, then visit photographer Scott Barrow’s Gallery for a print of Tyringham Fall, or his flyover photo of concert goers sprawled on Tanglewood’s lawn. These are only two of Scott’s many Berkshire photos. While on Housatonic Street, drop into The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar where you’ll find a dedicated section of books written by local Berkshire writers for a page-turning memory. Owner Matt Tannenbaum suggests Hawthorne’s Lenox and Music under the moon.
At the Hoadley Gallery discover the colored porcelain vessels of Thomas Hoadley. His pieces are collected by museums here and abroad and by the White House. Andrew DeVries’s dance and figurative bronze sculptures can be found in museums worldwide. Step inside his Gallery to select from among his smaller-scaled pieces for home or garden, as well as his framed pastels based on life drawings. Jeweler Laurie Donovan’s Berkshire Collection engraves the Shaker Tree, a symbol of Berkshire’s Hancock Shaker Village onto 18k yellow gold and sterling silver pendants, earrings plus men and women’s rings.
If serendipity is how you approach shopping for a memory, then make Lenox Print and Mercantile and Local your destination. Both shops represent the Berkshires’ vibrant craft community – wearables, framed art, ceramics, wood and silver decorative pieces, jewelry and more. When at Local, make sure to see owner Elizabeth Powell’s own leather totes, cases and clutches.
So, with your memory purchased and tucked into your bag you’ll recall your Berkshire visit and likely find yourself planning a return.