To the editor:

My husband and I have been members of the Berkshire Museum for at least 15 years. I suspect many others can say they've been members for much longer. What makes our membership unusual is that we live in Minnesota.

We have always considered a trip to the Berkshire Museum a must every time we visit our Pittsfield family. The Hudson River School paintings, particularly the Bierstadt, drew us in, reminding us of our travels through the Hudson River valley and our stop at Olana, Frederick Church's home. These paintings and the Rockwells epitomize the Berkshire area. It would be a travesty to sell them. And with their apparent sale imminent, it seems that we no longer have a reason to visit the museum.

We noticed significant changes at the museum when we visited in June. Now we understand what those changes meant. We have been kept aware of the public outcry and the lawsuit to stop the sale of the art work. We are saddened that the board seems to think this is the only possible measure it can take to keep the Berkshire Museum healthy and vital. I recognize change can be difficult, and some change might be necessary, but please don't tear the heart out of the Berkshire Museum.

Unfortunately, these changes impact our desire to renew our membership — and that of our Pittsfield family.

Mary Hammill,

Hopkins, Minn.