LENOX — An experiment in closer association between music and the fine arts is being tried with evident success at Tanglewood this summer.
Here, at the Wheatleigh estate of the Berkshire Music Center, students of painting, sculpture and graphic arts study amid a background of music provided, for example, by the practicing of organist E. Power Biggs.
In the same way, music students at the Center can, if they wish, drop in on classes and lectures in the fine arts at almost any time.
The experiment is the result of the merging of the two schools. The summer session of the school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is being held at Wheatleigh this year along with the Berkshire Music Center music schools.
Officially the two schools have been merged only to the extent that they use the same quarters, but this has achieved a mutual association between their students which would be no less complete if the two were under one management.
The success of the experiment has an added advantage to the Berkshires. It means that the Boston Museum summer school will probably be held here for many more years instead of being abandoned as had been announced last year.
This is the fourth year that the Boston Museum summer school has been run here but it is the first time that the association with Tanglewood has been tried. For the past three years, the school had been run with the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield as headquarters. During those years, in spite of a faculty of international figures in the art world, the summer school lost money and at the end of last summer, after a loss of “several thousand dollars,” the Boston Museum announced that it would be impossible to continue the school another summer.
However, early this spring the Boston Symphony Orchestra invited the school to make its headquarters at Wheatleigh. The idea was that in trying for a closer association between music and art, students at the Music Center would benefit and have the opportunity to study art as a sideline. The art students, on the other hand, would have the full facilities of Tanglewood at their disposal.
Such is the program that has been under way at the two schools since they opened July 3. It will continue until Tanglewood closes in three weeks.