The Berkshires, Massachusetts

Circle stone and yellow building in a pasture

Hancock Shaker Village. Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

An Art & Nature Tour in the Berkshires

Join us Oct. 13-19, 2024

Join Wendy DePaolis, M.A., Curator of Art and Sculpture at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, for a six-day exploration of the intersection of Art and Nature in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts during prime “leaf-peeping” season. You will stay at the iconic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA for the week, touring beautiful gardens, fascinating art museums, and historic homes in the area. It’s sure to be a fabulous fall experience!

Registration Form (PDF)

Wendy D headshot

Bringing together art and nature in a professional capacity is a dream come true. Wendy grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, with Longwood Gardens as a nearby playground. With a Bachelors of Science in Education and Masters in Art History, Wendy has been able to fuse these passions to make art accessible to all people. In her current role as Curator of Art and Sculpture she is responsible for educating through fine art classes, conducting tours throughout the Arboretum grounds, curating exhibitions and developing programs that work to bring the joy and understanding of art to all of our visitors. Wendy and her husband John have three adult children and spend much time travelling and enjoying outdoor beauty.

Trip Highlights

  • Bidwell House Gardens
  • Norman Rockwell Museum
  • Hancock Shaker Village
  • Frederic Church's Olana
  • Art Omi
  • Field Farm
  • Clark Art Institute
  • Williams College Museum of Art
  • Frelinghuysen Morris House
  • Berkshire Botanical Garden
  • Naumkeag
  • Turn Park Art Space
  • Atkins Farms
  • Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
  • The Botanic Garden of Smith College

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Cost Details

Tour Price: $4,595 per person, double occupancy; $1,395 additional fee for an individual room.

  • A deposit of $500 per person is due with the signed registration form.
  • Final payment is due on August 1, 2024.
  • Cancellation policy: Prior to August 1, 2024, is a $250 penalty. After August 1, 2024, no refund is available.


Trip Itinerary

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Trip Itinerary

Sunday, Oct. 13

After flying non-stop on Delta from Minneapolis to Bradley International Airport (BDL), your host Wendy DePaolis will lead the group to the Michelle & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts. This 1933 Art Deco building in a lovely garden setting holds a comprehensive selection of art in many media, including The Currier & Ives collection, one of the largest holdings of lithographs in the nation. After then traveling to your hotel, you’ll gather together for dinner to continue getting to know your fellow travelers.

Monday, Oct. 14

Start your day by acknowledging Indigenous People’s Day on the Native American Interpretive Trail at the historic Bidwell House. From there you’ll spend some time enjoying the Norman Rockwell Museum before heading to the Hancock Shaker Village. Learn at this living history museum about the former Shaker commune founded here in the late 1700s and how the population supported themselves for over 200 years primarily by farming.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

The intersection of art and nature truly comes alive at Frederic Church’s home “Olana,” set high on a hill in New York state with sweeping views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. One of the major figures in the Hudson River School of landscape painting, Frederic Edwin Church built this house in the 1870’s and added his last studio in the 1880’s. A riotous combination of Victorian, Persian and Moorish styles, it is a sight to behold. You’ll then have free time in the charming town of Hudson, NY before heading to Art Omi. This international arts center includes, among other exhibits, a 120-acre Sculpture and Architecture Park.

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Heading north to Williamstown, MA, the day will begin with a visit to Field Farm, where, in addition to an unparalleled view of Mt. Greylock, Massachusett's highest peak, you’ll find another sculpture garden (smaller than yesterday’s). From there you’ll travel to the Clark Art Institute, one of a trio of art museums that helped establish the cultural reputation of the Berkshires. Also a research institution, its collection spans the 14th to the early 20th centuries. Next door is the Williams College Museum of Art. The Clark was created in association with the college and the two organizations continue to work together today. From the directors of the museum teaching at the college to the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art founded in conjunction with the museum, the two are inexorably intertwined. Your day will end at the Frelinghuysen Morris House. Home to American Abstract Artists George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen, it is unchanged from the couples’ lifetimes, still housing art from Picasso, Miró, Matisse and others. At an included dinner this evening, exchange thoughts with your fellow travelers about the art you encountered today.

Thursday, Oct. 17

The Berkshire Botanical Gardens are the first stop today, a charming site with an emphasis on local, native plants. You will then visit the first of two grand historic homes surrounded by lovely gardens: Naumkeag. Be transported back to the Gilded Age in the 44-room summer home of a former American Ambassador to the United Kingdom and his wife, a 19th-century advocate of women’s education. The eight acres of terraced gardens, one of 700 gardens designed by Fletcher Steele, is the only one still open to the public. In the afternoon you’ll visit another grand home and its gardens: Edith Wharton’s “The Mount.” Built in 1902 by the noted American author, it was her home for many years, but is now a literary hub, hosting readings, book launches and panel discussions. The day ends with a visit to Turn Park Art Space, another sculpture park, this one on the site of a former quarry.

Friday, Oct. 18

Your last full day in the Berkshires begins at MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the largest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the country. Started by the Williams College Museum of Art, which was looking for a space to display large works of modern and contemporary art, it has been transformed into an international art collaborative. On a smaller scale, you will then visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The author of the 1969 classic “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” founded this museum, the first in the United States devoted to this subject. After a stop at the Botanic Garden of Smith College, your day will end with a Farewell Dinner, where you can reminisce with your new friends about all the art and nature you’ve enjoyed in the northeast this past week.

Saturday, Oct. 19

After breakfast, Wendy DePaolis and travelers will return to the Bradley International Airport (BDL) for the flight back to Minneapolis. This concludes the Arboretum tour.