5 2021

Tipping the Balance: Contemporary Sculpture by John Van Alstine-Chesterwood

3:00PM - 5:00PM  

Chesterwood 4 Williamsville Road
Stockbridge, MA

Contact Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
413-442-4360 x10

Please join us for a guided tour of Chesterwood including the new Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood exhibit: Tipping the Balance: Contemporary Sculpture by John Van Alstine, in-person at Chesterwood. Tour will be led by Susan Frisch Lehrer, former Curator of Education and Manager of Visitor and Volunteer Services at Chesterwood for over 30 years. Susan is now Coordinator of Volunteers and PJ Library at the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.
This program is free but pre-registration is required and space is limited. Raindate is August 12.

Masking policy per Chesterwood:  Masks are no longer required for those who are vaccinated but, in an abundance of caution, we highly recommend that everyone wear a mask when indoors.  Click here to review Chesterwood's full safety protocols.


Chesterwood is the former summer home, studio and gardens of American sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850–1931), who is best known for creating two of our nation’s most powerful symbols: the Minute Man (1871–75) at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, and Abraham Lincoln (1911–22) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Daniel Chester French was one of the most successful artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, producing more than 100 works of public sculpture. More information about Chesterwood and Mr. French may be found on their website

For more than forty years, John Van Alstine has created abstract sculptures with stone and forged or found steel. These constructs explore the nexus of natural forces and man-made objects at the intersection between wild nature and technology. His work reflects a particularly American tension between the natural and manmade environment. Van Alstine’s sculptures give voice to the meeting point of geological time and civilization.

Van Alstine’s art is informed by 20th century ideas gleaned from abstraction, constructivism, Eastern art and philosophy, assemblage, found objects and aspects of cubism and collage. The artist’s themes come from Greek and Roman mythology, celestial navigation and the human figure in Western art. He explores the effects of movement and gravity/tension on objects, the synergy of man-made tools for work and the angularity and vitality of urban architecture. He has been described as an abstract artist with a modernist’s sense of composition, a sculptor who finds the balance and energy in the moment, an artist who evokes narratives from inanimate objects, a figurative artist.

Tipping the Balance: Contemporary Sculpture by John Van Alstine is an exhibition that reveals the depth and breadth of this remarkable artist’s creativity and talent. Eleven large outdoor sculptures showcase his aesthetic journey from the 1990s to present in distinctive explorations of form and composition and meaning. A major hardbound book on the arc of Van Alstine’s artistic career, covering the evolution of his art through works in national and international public and private collections, will accompany the exhibition.

Please wear appropriate clothing and shoes as the tour will include walking the extensive grounds, woodlands and gardens.