To the editor:

I despair at the recent news that the Berkshire Museum has decided to sell the Albert Bierstadt painting, "Giant Redwood Trees of California." This painting of the redwoods is of huge importance in understanding the need (desire) to protect wilderness.

Twice in the last few months I have met with the museum's staff to implore them to protect this painting so that it might open an exciting new hall devoted to Berkshire forests, farms and landscape. The exhibit might speak to the lives of Native Americans and thereafter Lucretia Williams, who in 1791 stood between the axe man and a giant elm in Park Square, Pittsfield. The exhibit could inform visitors how the Berkshire landscape has changed over centuries as well as efforts today to save family farms and forests.

Some years ago I served on the board of the Berkshire Museum and recently I received an award from the museum for my work.

Today I have concluded that the museum board, what with its onslaught of new wealth, might further destroy whatever credibility the museum retains among those who think about the past and the future of the Berkshires.

George Wislocki,


The writer is founding president of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council