A Certain Place

As I have been getting settled at Jacob’s Pillow and wading into the bubbling stream of activity — figuring out the best times to get meals in the cafeteria or to make the drive into nearby Lee to do laundry — I have also been reading up on Pillow history to get a sense of this certain place as an institution and landmark.

In the reading room of the Archives, I found a wonderful history of the Pillow with the same title as this post — “A Certain Place,” written by none other than Norton Owen, Director of Preservation and my project supervisor here at Jacob’s Pillow.  I have also found some interesting biographies of the historical figures of Jacob’s Pillow available in the Archives,  including a few books about  the founder Ted Shawn, and an autobiography of Barton Mumaw, principal dancer with the Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers and a longtime contributor to the success of the educational programs and the summer Festivals put on at the Pillow.

Many of the buildings here have fascinating stories about their origins and construction, and it has been a personal delight to see and touch the famous Pillow rock, and spend an evening enjoying dance at its finest in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre, topped by architect Joseph Franz’s hand-cast Barton Mumaw weather vane.  It is an incredible feeling to know that my work here will help preserve some of the Pillow’s history, and extend it into the future.

Please enjoy this photo-tour of the beautiful buildings and grounds that make up the campus at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.  Click on any image for an enlarged view:

Coming into this new and fast-paced environment, I also set out to learn as much as possible about the organizational structure and workflow of the staff, and where my projects fit in with the other projects happening around me.  It has been great to meet so many new people, and link arms together as I begin to tackle my archival tasks.   (More on those soon!)  The people here are just great, and it is amazing to see what we are already accomplishing together.


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