If you’re looking for a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA is it. The only art, history, and natural science museum in the Berkshires is home to a wide variety of exhibitions designed to fascinate just about anyone.
The museum has been a fixture in the Berkshires for over 100 years. It was founded in 1903 by Zenas Crane (1840-1917), third-generation owner of Crane & Company paper manufacturer. Crane, inspired by institutions like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dreamed of combining the best of them here in the Berkshires. With the opening of the Berkshire Museum, Crane saw his dream come to life.
Visiting the Museum
The Berkshire Museum has over 40,000 items in its collections, including fine art, natural specimens, and historical artifacts. Something from almost every continent on the planet.
You’ll see Nathanial Hawthorne’s writing desk, and artifacts from Robert E. Peary’s first successful expedition to the North Pole. There are examples of early jewelry, Babylonian cuneiform tablet shards, and local plants and animals. In fact, the Berkshire Museum also has an aquarium with fish, insects, reptiles and more.
The Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation celebrates invention with 3,000-square-feet of interactive exhibitions. The Gallery of Rocks and Minerals includes a fascinating variety of rocks and minerals, including a 143 pound meteorite! Visit the Berkshire Backyard to discover the plants and animals that thrive in our unique environment.
Window on the World provides a wide ranging look into some of the more fascinating objects in the museum’s permanent collection. Animals of the World in Miniature is fourteen 1/10 scale dioramas of animals and plants in their native habitats by sculptor and taxidermist Louis Paul Jonas. The dioramas were created over a 24 year period ending in 1970 and include locations across the globe. Simply amazing.
The museum is also home to the Little Cinema, presenting independent, foreign, and documentary features for over 60 years. Current exhibitions include the Art of Animation Film Series and the Festival Favorites Film Series. Check out the upcoming Little Cinema schedule here.
39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Sundays, 12pm to 5pm.
A Short Drive from Our Berkshires Inn
Best of all, Museum of the Berkshires is less than half an hour’s drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast in Lee, MA. Applegate Inn’s convenient location makes exploring the Berkshires a snap. At the same time, the plush comfort of our luxuriously appointed guest rooms may be hard to leave. Book your stay at Applegate Inn today and see for yourself!