Museums & Heritage

A Berkshire aesthetic: artist Jonathan Prince establishes a collaborative arts hub in western Massachusetts

"Berkshire House" aims to be a cross-disciplinary creative centre in the region

Artist Jonathan Prince turned a five-acre dairy farm in the Berkshire Mountains into a creative hub

The American artist Jonathan Prince, known for his monumental steel sculptures, has created a unique hybrid studio-travel destination in the Berkshire Mountains in Southfield in western Massachusetts.

Over the course of the pandemic, Prince transformed a five-acre property and former dairy farm in which artists work and live into an intimate venue for creative collaborations, musical events and the culinary arts. The site’s two barns, comprising 23,000 sq. ft. of exhibition and programming space, lend a contemporary rustic Berkshire aesthetic. Prince’s industrial machinery and workspace in a former hay loft and a gallery of his works of art remain open for visitors by appointment.

“Berkshire House is about art, yes. But it’s about much more than art too,” Prince says. “If a fashion designer, or a collector, or a musician, or a scientist wants to come and perform or install something, this place is about all kinds of creative cross-conversations.”

Prince, whose work is in collections such at the Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, comes to the art world circuitously. He began as a maxillofacial surgeon in New York, before producing films such as The Plague with William Hurt and Robert Duvall, and a career in computer animation, winning an Emmy for virtual set design.

Price says the idea for Berkshire House came during a studio visit about three years ago from the art advisor and curator Stephanie Manasseh. “She asked me if I would ever consider opening the property for art events,” Prince says. “With Stephanie’s expertise and management, we decided to create Berkshire House as a hub of creative collaboration across disciplines.”