Ventfort Hall in Lenox will host 'The Chelsea Hotel: New York's Dream Palace' tea and talk

Author Sherill Tippins gets us past the front desk when she presents "The Chelsea Hotel: New York City's Dream Palace" at a Summer Tea & Talk at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Tuesday, July 1 at 4:00 pm. A Victorian tea will follow, during which she will autograph copies of her new book titled Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel.

A safe haven for New York's bohemian revolution since the late 19th century, the Chelsea Hotel acted as a temporary home, watering hole, and workplace for artists. It's where Thomas Wolfe found the title for his classic novel You Can't Go Home Again, where Arthur Miller recuperated after falling out of love with Marilyn Monroe, and where drunken Jackson Pollock vomited on the carpet of the private dining room just before an important introductory luncheon to the art world elite hosted by Peggy Guggenheim.

One of America's great cultural landmarks, it was opened in 1884 as a cooperative "home club" based on a concept inspired by French socialist utopian philosopher Charles Fourier. Successive generations of artists have cohabited and created there, among them artist John Sloan, poet Edgar Lee Masters, poet Dylan Thomas, writer Allen Ginsberg, singer/composer Bob Dylan, singer Janis Joplin, song writer Patti Smith, artist Robert Mapplethorpe, artist Andy Warhol, playwright Sam Shepard, and Sex Pistols bassist and vocalist Sid Vicious. The Chelsea has become the world's largest and longest-lived artists' community.

Tippins is the author of February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Brooklyn.

Tickets for the Tippins Tea & Talk are $20 for advance reservations and $25 day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 or click on to The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

The Ventfort Hall Summer 2014 Tea & Talk series is supported in part by the cultural councils of Lenox, Otis, Washington and West Stockbridge, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

An Official Project of Save America's Treasures program sponsored by The White House, Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum offers tours of the historic mansion, as well as Tea & Talks, such exhibitions as Les Petites Dames de Mode, the Bellefontaine Collection, concerts, theater, and other programs. This elegant Jacobean-Revival Berkshire "cottage," listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public year-around and is available for private rental. Built in 1893 for George and Sarah Morgan (sister of the financier, J. P. Morgan), Ventfort Hall has undergone substantial restoration, which continues.


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