Monet’s Water Lilies and Garden Weekend - The Berkshire Edge
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Monet’s Water Lilies and Garden Weekend

June 21 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Popular and enjoyable Books & Blooms, a two-day weekend benefit for the Cornwall CT Library, is a highlight of the Cornwall calendar.

This year we start off with a presentation sure to appeal to art lovers as well as garden aficionados. On Friday June 21 at 6pm, Ann Temkin, the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, will present “Why Water Lilies? Claude Monet and the Art of the Garden,” explaining how Monet’s gardens on his extensive property at Giverny formed the basis for his much-loved water lilies paintings.

Monet was a serious gardener, and there was a strongly reciprocal relationship between his landscape design and his paintings. While the water lilies paintings are now recognized as pioneering landmarks of 20th-century art, they were harshly disparaged for the first half of the century. This talk will discuss why they were so unpopular, and what brought about the public’s eventual embrace of these boldly experimental canvases.

Ms. Temkin is the first woman to hold the premier curatorial position at MoMA, and it is a huge honor for the Cornwall Library to have her as this year’s guest speaker. Her talk will be followed by a cocktail reception in a nearby private garden.

At 10am on Saturday, the fun continues with self-guided tours of four gorgeous private Cornwall gardens—an unfussy, low-maintenance perennial garden with specimen trees—a waterfall and millpond resulting in a garden full of surprises—a dramatic garden on a rocky hillside with a plunging ravine—and a cottage garden extensively planted and full of charm.

Tickets are $40 for the talk, $30 for the garden tours, or $65 for both. Please register and purchase on our website: Books & Blooms 2024.

Tickets and maps for the garden tour may be picked up at the Library on Friday, June 21 between noon and 6pm or on Saturday, June 22, from 10am, where you can also purchase cut flower arrangements, donated by members of the Cornwall Garden Club, and new and out-of-print garden books.