Parties & Openings
April 22 – E. Chatham
Habitat For Humanity Brunch
April 14 – Pittsfield
Susan Merrill Exhibit Opening
April 7 – Ghent
Ghent Playhouse Gala
Berkshire Museum Wine Auction in Two Acts
Cultural correspondent Bess Hochstein reports: It was a bittersweet year for the 7th biennial Berkshire Museum Wine Auction, which was dedicated to the memory of auction co-founder Sheila Chefetz, who died in 2008. In tribute to his late wife, Mike Chefetz served as co-chair with Jacqueline and Al Togut. A fundraiser for the museum’s educational programs, the event began with a Friday evening reception for benefactors and donors at Stonover Farm, catered by Douglas Luf.
The next evening was a three-part affair. Guests were greeted by a harpist on the landing of the stairway leading up to the Museum’s galleries, then entered a special exhibition, “Vintage Time,” of antique watches and clocks. In the grand halls, displays of silent auction lots competed for attention with selections of wine curated by Jim Nejaime and delectable hors d’oeuvres from local purveyors, including The Marketplace, Haven Café , SoMa Catering, Rubiner’s, and Jae’s Spice. After opening remarks from executive director Stuart Chase, event co-chairs Chefetz and Jacqueline Togut, and guest of honor Laurent Drouhin, Sotheby’s wine auctioneer extraordinaire Jamie Ritchie led the crowd to lively bidding on 35 lots, raising nearly $100,000. Highest bids went to an extravagant dinner for ten at The Old Inn on the Green with wonderful wines donated by Dr. Sheldon Rabin – a lot so popular it sold twice. When the final gavel fell, guests repaired to one of two sumptuous feasts – a celebratory wine dinner in the musuem’s Crane Room, catered by chef Michael Roller, or a “Berkshire farmhouse supper” onstage at the Colonial Theatre by chef Shelly Williams of Haven.
May 30: The Live Auction in Pittsfield
Burgundy expert Lincoln Russell and Nancy Fitzpatrick of the Red Lion Inn; Vicki Bonnington & David Schecker
Pittsfield retail stalwarts Pam & Tom Rich, whose family-owned furniture store anchors North Street.
Hancock Shaker Village’s Ellen Spear and her husband, Brad Spear, the radio announcer; Suky and Tom Werman, who hosted the Friday night benefactors’ reception at Stonover Farm, their luxurious bed-and-breakfast in Lenox.
Wine auction co-chair Jacqueline Tugot and her father, Jacques Parker, with Sotheby’s dazzling wine auctioneer Jamie Ritchie and his daughter Ella.
Museum trustee Linda Zukowski with Heather Wendling of Canyon Ranch; Berkshire Visitors Bureau president Lauri Klefos and gallery owner Leslie Ferrin.
Great Barrington cheesemonger Matt Rubiner; Larry Rosenthal & Joyce Bernstein
BIFF founder Kelley Vickery, real estate broker Nancy Kalodner and Pine Cone Hill founder Annie Selke
May 29: The Benefactors’ Reception in Lenox
Stuart Chase, executive director of the Berkshire Museum, and his wife, Julie Chase, and guest of honor Laurent Drouhin greet guests at Stonover Farm.
Wine chair Jim Nejaime and his wife, Heidi, with John Krenicki; Sheldon Rabin, a member of the wine committee, with event co-chair Mike Chefetz
Museum trustee Helen Febbo and her color-coordinated husband, Al; hostess Suky Werman and Maria Mingalone, director of education at the Berkshire Museum.