Parties & Openings
October 25 - Stockbridge
Literacy Network Gala
October 24 - Pittsfield
BCC's Orchid & Tropical Show
October 18 - G. Barrington
Berkshire South Gala
“The French Blue” Book Party at The Mount
Cultural Correspondent Bess J.M. Hochstein reports from Lenox: It should come as no surprise that self-taught goldsmith and gemologist Richard W. Wise gets things done with a certain flair. Rather than hold the typical author’s reading and signing to launch his new book, The French Blue, Wise engaged actor George Bergen (left) to embody Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a true-life 17th century adventurer and trader of precious gems, jewels, and pearls, whose life, loves, and escapades form the basis of Wise’s first novel. (His 2003 book, Secrets of the Gem Trade: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Precious Gemstones, has sold over 30,000 copies.) On Thursday November 19, at The Mount, Bergen-as-Tavernier swept out in feathered cap and period costume and engaged the standing-room-only audience in Edith Wharton’s drawing room with a dramatic reading from the would-be autobiography. Then Wise took the podium to answer questions from the crowd, many of which concerned the French Blue, the legendary 116-carat diamond, which survived centuries of recutting and other indignities until it landed in collection of The Smithsonian as the world-famous Hope Diamond. It seems as if everyone in the enthusiastic audience left with a signed copy of The French Blue in hand, and, perhaps dreams of precious stones that they might receive as gifts this holiday season.
Evan Anthony with The Mount’s executive director Susan Wissler; Richard W.Wise with his wife, Rebekah.
Martie & David Ekstrom of Resort Maps with Dara Kaufman, director of of member services for the Berkshire Visitors Bureau; Leslie Beck of Berkshire Living with Ethan Berg of the Winthrop Estate.
Celia Kittredge and Gordon Travers, chairman of the board of Edith Wharton Restoration, which operates The Mount.
Sara Hunter Hudson, the Mount¹s new chief development officer, with Susan Wissler; Kit Clucas with book publicist David Carriere.
Michael Ulick of the Church Street Gallery with Barbara Greenberg; goldsmith and designer Michael Corneau and diamond aficionado Stephen Hofer.