MUSEUMS

A train sitting on the platform at Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Massachusetts transportation officials this week announced funding for more north/south rail service in the Pioneer Valley, and for a long-awaited study examining trains between Boston and western Massachusetts. 

Entrance to the Baseball in the Berkshires Museum.
Courtesy Baseball in the Berkshires Museum

With more empty storefronts than full ones, the 30-year-old Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, has seen better days. But near Spencer Gifts and a now-shuttered Hollister, something rather unexpected is alive and well: baseball.

The portrait of Russell Sturgis at the Worcester Art Museum has a new sign next to it with information about his connections to slavery.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR

At the Worcester Art Museum's early American portrait gallery, I was recently struck by a painting of a man named Russell Sturgis.

Live racing was popular at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds in the last century.
Courtesy Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment Project / State House News Service

This week, more pieces of art from the Berkshire Musem's collection were sold at auction. Included was Norman Rockwell's "Blacksmith's Boy -- Heel and Toe," which sold for more than $8 million including fees. 

The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.
Shinya Suzuki / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/ps/21KLS1

A Norman Rockwell painting sold by the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to one in California will be on display locally next month.

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
AlexiusHoratius / Creative Commons

The first two pieces up for auction from the Berkshire Museum's art collection fetched more than $1.4 million at auction Monday night in New York.

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Berkshire Museum / Creative Commons

Now that the long legal battle is over, the first two pieces of art from the Berkshire Museum's collection will hit the auction block Monday night. 

The irony was hard to miss.

The Aquarium MBTA station was closed due to flooding, and the aquarium itself, nearby on Boston's Central Wharf, was closed out of caution for its visitors.

Evan Lewis of Northampton, Massachusetts, with a photo of his great-grandfather Lent Shaw.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

The country's first national memorial to the victims of lynching opens April 27 in Alabama. One of the thousands of victims was Lent Shaw, a successful black farmer in Colbert, Georgia, accused -- many believe falsely -- of assaulting a white woman. 

Editor's note: This story contains content some may find upsetting.

Editor's note: This report contains language and an image some may find offensive or upsetting.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice stands high on a hillside overlooking downtown Montgomery, Ala. Beyond the buildings you can see the winding Alabama River and hear the distant whistle of a train — the nexus that made the city a hub for the domestic slave trade.

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