To the editor:

I was delighted to read "Community input drives 'reinvention plan' for The Berkshire Museum" on July 13. The museum, under the leadership of Van Shields, has undertaken an enormous task to address the needs of the museum, residents of the Berkshires and surrounding towns, as well as the many travelers from near and far. One might well imagine how challenging the task will be to best meet the diverse needs and interests of each of these groups.

I participated several months ago as a member of the Content Advisory Council, a group comprising experts from other renowned institutions including the Smithsonian and Williams College, along with the consultants from Experience Design. But of course, we spent much time with Van Shields and the staff of the museum being given a window to view their collective vision on how the museum can evolve to achieve its place as an institution that transcends not just decades, but perhaps the centuries as well.

The museum and its collection, along with the ongoing support of the Crane family, provide a binding to the fabric of our community — offering a location from which we all can embark on many journeys of space and time — though experiences both proximal to us in the Berkshires, as well as from great distances afar; and across time to understand the past, to experience the present, and to dream of the future.

I look forward to the successes I and many others can dream of for the museum, which are so close to becoming an experience for the present.

Daniel E. Wollman, M.D.,


Newtown, CT.