Arrowhead's revealing exhibit must have impressed
To the editor:
Once again, Berkshire County, MA, USA is in the forefront of the nation and the world when it comes to the arts. Sunday's article about the Victoria and Albert Museum in London presenting a historic view of undergarments to its museum visitors follows in the wake of the Berkshire Historical Society's wonderful exhibit of 200 years of Berkshire Lingerie, called "Close to the Skin: A Revealing Look at Lingerie," a year ago at Herman Melville's Arrowhead in Pittsfield.
The special exhibit at Arrowhead featured items rarely seen outside of a Victorian bedroom. It included a special one-day fashion show at the Shire City Sanctuary on Melville Street showing 120 years of undergarment modeled by such important women as Lesley Ann Beck, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Margaret Poutasse, Jana Laiz, Nancy Tunnicliffe, Dyann Arduini, Kristen Laney, Fianna Toolan and Hannah Sherman. In spite of very bad weather, hundreds saw the exhibit and obviously our London counterparts heard of the amazing success that lingerie had in a museum setting.
This year the Historical Society is featuring the history of local baseball from 1791 to the present with an equally extraordinary exhibit (although no underwear can be seen) and a marvelous new book by regional historians Jim Overmyer, Kevin Larkin, Larry Moore and Tom Daly. I cannot wait to read, next year in The Eagle, about an exhibit in London on their history with a game involving bat and ball. When that happens we will have definitive proof that the Berkshires leads the world. Those of us who live and work here know it is true.
Peter Bergman, Pittsfield The writer is director of communications and community relations for the Berkshire Historical Society at Herman Melville's Arrowhead.