The Mount 2011 Season Preview

April 27, 2011

The Mount 2011 Season Preview 

LENOX, MA–The Mount, the historic estate of Edith Wharton, has announced its 2011 summer season. The official opening day is Saturday, May 7. The Mount will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm through October 31, 2011.

Every Day at The Mount

Admission is free for kids and teens 18 years and under. Adult admission is as follows:

$16 Adults; $15 Seniors; $13 Students (with valid ID); $12 Grounds Pass.



Dramatic License: Edith Wharton on Stage and Screen

Through October 31

Screen, stage, radio and even opera adaptations of Edith Wharton’s works are the focus of this exhibit at The Mount. “Dramatic License: Edith Wharton on Stage & Screen” offers a fascinating look at some of the over 50 adaptations produced from Wharton’s day to our own. Admission to “Dramatic License” is free with general admission to The Mount.

Edith Wharton and World War I

Through October 31

Wharton’s wartime years are little known. This exhibit highlights her extraordinary humanitarian work and courageous reportage from the Western Front. By throwing herself tirelessly and energetically into work, both literary and charitable, she was able to make use of her talents in ways previously unknown to her. Admission to “Edith Wharton and World War I” is free with general admission to The Mount.


House & Garden Tours

Through October 31

Let one of our expert guides introduce you to Wharton’s life, works, and love of architecture and interior design. Tours of The Mount’s three acres of restored formal gardens-among the largest and most exquisite in New England-are also available. From May 7 through October 31, guests may take self-guided tours of the estate and gardens at any time during opening hours. In May and June, guided tours of the mansion will be offered on at 11 am and 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Starting on June 20, guided tours of the mansion and the gardens will be available daily for $2 per tour, plus admission. Call 413-551-5111 or visit for information and daily schedule. Group tour rates available with advance reservations.

Terrace Café

Linger over lunch or light refreshments on The Mount’s elegant terrace with scenic views of the gardens and Laurel Lake. Daily menu prepared by SoMa Catering includes gourmet salads, sandwiches, desserts, coffee, and beverages. Open daily 11 am – 4 pm from June 15 through September 5.


2011 Lecture Series

Join us for another season of stimulating lectures by noted biographers. For nearly two decades, writers have taken the floor on Mondays at The Mount, delighting audiences with the lives and lore of cultural icons. This season features an eclectic mix of topics that are certain to intrigue and entertain. Lectures begin at 4 pm and are followed by a tea and book signing. $18 members, $20 non-members. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit To purchase tickets by phone, please call 1-800-838-3006. Seating is limited and each lecture sells out; early ticket purchase is highly recommended.

July 11

Blood, Bones and Butter:  The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Gabrielle Hamilton

The celebrated chef-owner of Prune restaurant in New York’s East Village will start our 18th summer lecture series with a talk about her recent memoir Blood, Bones and Butter, which has been described as “simply the best memoir by a chef ever.” Her passionate, evocative and unconventional story will take us from a lush and magical childhood in rural Pennsylvania to the launch of her renowned Manhattan restaurant, and all the tumultuous years in between.

July 18

The Hammersteins: A Musical Theater Family

Oscar Andrew Hammerstein III

Oscar Hammerstein II’s grandson presents a personal and sparkling portrait of an American family living the American dream, and an intimate celebration of musical theatre. The story covers five generations of the illustrious family that changed Broadway forever, beginning in 1864 when Oscar Hammerstein I emigrated to America, and following the Hammersteins through all their personal and professional highlights, as well as the scandals and tragedies.

July 25

Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America

Kati Marton

Award-winning author and journalist Kati Marton, born in Hungary, will tell the intimate and deeply moving account of her journalist parents. After gaining access to their files kept by secret police in Budapest, terrifying truths were revealed: secret love affairs, betrayals inside the family circle, torture and brutalities alongside acts of stunning courage and, above all, deep family love. Enemies of the People was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

August 1

The Unlikely Resurgence of Ayn Rand

Anne C. Heller

Brilliant and controversial, revered and scorned for her radical individualism and fierce advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism, Ayn Rand remains a powerful force in the political perceptions of Americans today. Based on the highly acclaimed and first objective biography of Ayn Rand, Anne Heller gives an eye-opening account of one of the most significant and unlikely figures of the twentieth century.

August 8

A Very Fierce Affair: Theodore Roosevelt, Edith Wharton, and Henry James

Edmund Morris

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and presidential biographer Edmund Morris recently released the third volume in his trilogy on the life of Theodore Roosevelt. His talk at The Mount will focus onRoosevelt’s lifelong career as a professional writer and critic (paralleling but quite separate from his political career), his extraordinary relationship with Edith Wharton, and his ambivalent attitude toward Henry James. The highly cosmopolitan Roosevelt had a vast range of foreign intellectual acquaintance and often referred to himself, proudly, as “a literary fellow.”

August 15

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

Michael Korda

Author and editor-in-chief emeritus of Simon & Schuster Michael Korda captures the epic life of T.E. Lawrence: the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic British Army officer, renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916-1918. His daring exploits and romantic profile-including his blond, sun-burnished good looks and flowing white robes-made him an object of intense fascination, still famous worldwide as “Lawrence of Arabia.”

August 22

Reading My Father: Life with William Styron

Alexandra Styron

William Styron, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie’s Choice, and his politically active wife Rose were leading players on the world’s cultural stage for half a century. Raised under both the halo of her father’s brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind, this talk is the story of a daughter coming to know her father at last-a giant moving along 20th century American novelists and a man whose devastating depression darkened the family landscape.

August 29

Syrie Maugham: Staging Glamorous Interiors, 1920s-1950s

Pauline C. Metcalf

Interior Designer Syrie Maugham, trendsetter, fashion icon, and wife of writer W. Somerset Maugham, was responsible for the ultra-chic, all-white movement in interior décor of the 1920s and ’30s. Author and historian Pauline Metcalf takes the audience on a lively and beautifully illustrated transatlantic voyage through Maugham’s world where tradition meets modern, from the drawing rooms she decorated in London, to the houses, villas, and apartments commissioned by clients in the United States and the Continent.


Programs and Events

David Emblidge Publishing Workshop

Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18

Spend the weekend at Edith Wharton’s inspirational estate and gardens while learning about the publishing process from three seasoned professionals. Join David Emblidge, Associate Professor in the MA in Publishing and Writing program at Emerson College, Boston and presenters Julie Michaels, a former editor at New England Monthly and longtime Boston Globe writer and editor, and literary agent Nina Ryan, a former Random House editor and now partner in the Cowles-Ryan Literary Agency, for this special two-day workshop at The Mount. Day One will demystify the publishing process, lay out standard steps in the editing/production/marketing/sales process, and provide an insider’s look at a standard author’s contract and a successful book or magazine article proposal. Day Two will be given to consultations with writers. Advance registration is required. Workshop is limited to 40 writers. For more information or to register, visit or call 413-551-5100. Registration $275; special rate of $250 for participants who register before May 31.

NOTE: Tickets for all of the following programs and events are available for purchase online at or 1-800-838-3006:

Monday Night Mystery Friday Night Fright Ghost Tours                                   

Mondays, June 20-August 29, 7:30 pm

Fridays, September 9-October 28, 6 pm and 7 pm

It starts with the sounds. Creaking floors and slamming doors, fading footsteps down empty halls, whispered words in the wind. Sensations and shadows follow. A feeling of being watched or perhaps a ghostly tap on the shoulder. Take your chances on this special 90-minute guided tour of the most haunted parts of the estate, including areas not usually open to the public. Advance reservations highly recommended. Tours frequently sell out in advance. Adults $20, Students 12-18 years $10. Due to the mature content, this tour is not recommended for children under 12 years of age. Please note: Ghost tours will not be available on July 18 and 25.

Wharton on Wednesdays                                               

Every Wednesday in July and August

5 pm

Back by popular demand! Come hear for yourself why Edith Wharton’s writings continue to captivate readers and win Wharton new fans. Each week professional actors from the Berkshire Theatre Festival perform dramatic readings of Wharton’s short stories and poems on The Mount’s terrace. Gardens are open for strolling. Light refreshments available for purchase. Members free, non-members $5. All of the Wharton on Wednesdays in July are sponsored by Berkshire Fine Arts.

An Afternoon of Poetry with Kevin Young

Presented in partnership with the Amy Clampitt Fund

Saturday, July 9

4 pm

“Highly entertaining, often dazzling, and, as book reviewers like to say-but rarely about contemporary poetry-compulsively readable.”  – The New York Times Book Review

Considered the “leading poet of his generation,” Kevin Young will present a special reading of his works at The Mount this summer. Young has published seven collections of his works and four poetry anthologies. While his writings are centered around African-American music and culture, he is influenced by the blues, and its forms often provide the structure for his poems. His collection For the Confederate Dead (2007) was awarded the Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the Quill Award in Poetry. His collection Jelly Roll: A Blues (2004) was also a Paterson Poetry Prize Winner. Young received an MFA from Brown University in 1996 and is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English at Emory University. A booksigning and reception will take place following the reading. Space is limited; advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Tickets $12.

Love, Peace, and Goodwill: A Talk and Demonstration with Topiary Artist Pearl Fryar

Sunday, July 17

11 am and 2 pm

Beautiful, whimsical, educational, and inspiring: these are just some of the many words used to describe the magical topiaries created by Pearl Fryar. For over 25 years, Fryar has transformed live plant materials into original, elegantly abstract forms that often fall outside the normal bounds of horticulture. Featured in dozens of magazines, newspapers, and national television programs, Fryar’s work is recognized by art and botanical enthusiasts from around the world, with over 5,000 people a year visiting the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, North Carolina. This is a special opportunity to hear Fryar discuss his work and demonstrate how his designs take shape. Members $18, non-members $20.


Outdoor Family Theatre at The Mount!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by the Brothers Grimm, adapted by Eric Hill

Presented in partnership with Berkshire Theatre Festival

July 18-30, 7:30 pm

Drawn directly from the classic Grimm’s Brothers story and adapted by Eric Hill, this premiere work is certain to delight children and adults of all ages. Set in The Mount’s new outdoor amphitheatre at sunset, families will be transported into the elegant tale of Snow White, fairest in the land, as she and her faithful companions triumph over evil. An idyllic setting and a true fairy tale will come together in one fantastic evening this summer.

Directed by Eric Hill and E. Gray Simons III, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  is produced by the Unicorn Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival’s pre-professional acting troupe. Audience members are welcome to bring blankets and refreshments. Advanced tickets purchase recommended. General admission. Adults $15, Children 12 years and under $10.

The outdoor theatre and the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is generously underwritten by The Maurer Family Foundation, The Berkshire Bank Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Some Enchanted Evenings Jazz Café

Every Friday & Saturday Evening in August and Labor Day Weekend

5-8 pm

Begin your evening at The Mount! Relax with a glass of wine and light hors d’oeuvres prepared by SoMa Catering while savoring the sweet sounds of jazz at our Terrace Café. Just minutes from Tanglewood and other major cultural venues, it’s a place to unwind with family and friends and enjoy one of the best views in the Berkshires.Gardens are open for strolling. August 5,6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27,  and September 2, 3. Free admission.

Saturday Serenade

Saturday, August 13

3 pm

Theatre Street Productions presents “Summer Serenade,” a selection of operatic favorites, in The

Mount’s walled garden. These four soloists will sweep you into the past with grand opera excerpts and Gilbert and Sullivan favorites. Seating is limited so please arrive early. In the event of rain, the performance will take place on the Terrace. Free with admission to The Mount.


Wharton Salon Returns for a 3rd Season

Autres Temps…

August 17-28
The Wharton Salon returns to The Mount, setting in 1962 Edith Wharton’s 100-year old story Autres Temps… about divorce American-style. This adaptation “with a twist” reveals what happens when a woman who was ostracized from New York society for leaving her husband and her daughter returns to a much freer America, and finds that everything has changed-but not for her.

Cast includes real-life mother and daughter Diane Prusha and Rory Hammond playing Mrs. Lidcote and daughter Leila, and Corinna May as Susy Suffern. Directed by Catherine Taylor-Williams and adapted by Dennis Krausnick, with costumes by Arthur Oliver and set by Patrick Brennan. The Salon sells out each year, so book your tickets early. Seating is limited. Advanced tickets purchase is highly recommended. General admission, wheelchair accessible. Adults $35.

About The Mount

The Mount is both a historic site and a center for culture inspired by the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton. Designed and built by Edith Wharton in 1902, the house embodies the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897). The property includes three acres of formal gardens designed by Wharton, who was also an authority on European landscape design, surrounded by extensive woodlands. Programming at The Mount reflects Wharton’s core interests in the literary arts, interior design and decoration, garden and landscape design, and the art of living. Annual exhibits explore themes from Wharton’s life and work. In the summer of 2010, The Mount launched Berkshire WordFest, a vibrant gathering of writers and readers in one of the most beautiful settings in the Berkshires.


The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. For more information about Edith Wharton and The Mount, visit


High-resolution photos of The Mount are available at


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