Music Rooms of the Gilded Age, a Lecture
During the Gilded Age, music played a more central role in “high society” than it does today. It is no accident, for example, that Edith Wharton opens The Age of Innocence at the opera in New York City. The behavior her characters exhibit there tells us nearly everything we need to know about them—certainly more than they would have cared to reveal. In the fifty or so Gilded-Age “cottages” that were once tucked discretely from view in Berkshire County, virtually all, it is fair to surmise, had music rooms. On Sunday, Close Encounters with Music hosts a lecture, Music Rooms of the Gilded Age, by Harvey Rosenberg, a veteran professor of the History of Interior Design and Architecture at FIT/SUNY, and a frequent lecturer at Parsons, Pratt, and the New School of Interior Design. And to make Professor Rosenberg’s slides and anecdotes all the more compelling, the lecture is being held at one of those extant cottages, Ventfort Hall (above), the Elizabethan Revival mansion built in 1893 for J.P. Morgan’s sister, and now open to the pubic as the Museum of the Gilded Age.