Between appointments and committments of variious types, it's proven to be a challenge to get away from our routine days in Newton. But when DH determined that he wanted to check out the used bookstores in Western Massachusetts, we found a way.
We took the scenic route. Rt. 2 from Leominster to Northampton, and then on by way of the Mohawk Trail.
It was only mid afternoon by the time we got to Northampton. Known as the home of Smith College, it also has 3 bookstores, and two yarn stores, one of which is WEBS, "America's Yarn Store." It was within walking distance of our hotel. Amazingly, I resisted temptation as I have TWO projects that I hope to finished before their anticipated recipients arrive.
Northampton is a funky, congested, charming mini-city. At left is the Forbes Library, which serves as the town's public library. There are plenty of art galleries, boutiques, bistros and more substantial restaurants on the main drag as well as evidence of a strong economy on the side streets.
We had a late (and enormous) lunch at McCladden's. 150 Craft Beers ON DRAUGHT! I'm surprised the bartender could remember where they all were. (And none of them were Sam Adams!)
Williams College was having its graduation ceremonies. Amazing how much chaos a graduating class from a school of just 2000 people can create when no one is directing traffic
When we were checking into our plain Jane motel, I caught this little one who was apparently tuckered out from earlier activities or a long car ride.
He was limper than old lettuce.
We were delighted to find Books and More Books in Whately (population 1700) It's for sale if you are interested, AND the price has been reduced (only $275,000, which does NOT include the books.) The building was once a school house and had plenty of rooms full of various sellars' collections. I found some favorite books from my childhood as well as oddments that were probably from various faculty at the colleges.
"Rein Taagepera has conducted the most important research on changes in the geographical area of historical empires" according to one reviewer of his work. Born in Tartu, Estonia, he got degrees in Engineering Physics, Nuclear Physics and Solid State Physics from the University of Deleware. He later became a professor in the department of Social Sciences (using all that analytical knowledge) and taught at the University of California at Irvine.
Later he founded the University of Tartu in conjunction with UC Irvine. He was banned from Estonia for 17 years by the Soviets power structure, but was later elected to the Estonian Congress when independence had been secured. He also wrote lots of books on predicting votes, turnouts and election results. Wish I could have a beer with him!
Finally (after getting through that traffic jam in Williamstown), we arrived at the Clark Art Institute.
Sterling Clark was heir to the Singer Sewing Machine profits and with his wife Francine traveled widely and collected art. (They knew many of the artists whose works they collected.) Eventually they wanted to build a museum to house their collection. They considered Cooperstown, Sterling's childhood home, and downtown Manhattan before being drawn to Williamstown, where Sterling's grandfather had had close ties to Williams college. The Museum opened in 1955. The college admitted its first graduate class in 1972. Graduates are well prepared to be art and museum curators. Between the Institute and the College, there is now a well known art history curriculum, library and restoration center.
Sterling Clark was a patron for George Innes.
I fell in love with the Renoir paintings on display.