by Penny Michels
The simple beauty of the Berkshires has been captured by countless artists but few exhibit such a personal connection to the countryside.
Don Perdue is a nationally honored photographer, with works in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. He now brings his personal commitment and attention to the landscape of the Berkshires. I want to influence the wise use of our beautiful surroundings; if I can capture the beauty of our land in need of preservation, then I will be content".
What originally drew you to this area?
We were helping a dear friend look for a country house in 1996 and never left.
When you have guests, whats the ultimate entertainment venue you like to share with them?
I'm on the Board at Nutmeg Conservatory in Torrington. They are always my first choice. When not in performance just watching a ballet class is a great privilege.Music Mountain, Jacob's Pillow, the Mahaiwe, Shakespeare and Company, Barrington Stage, and the Berkshire, Clark, MASS MoCA Museums are other favorites.
Tell us about your studio or your work environment.
I work in a converted garage attached to the house. It has an eighteen foot ceiling with good storage, three long counter tops arranged in a U, a big Epson printer and the great feeling of a special place to work. It has a door to the garden and another to the driveway in front of the house.
Whats your favorite Berkshire ritual?
Getting lost on back roads and finding new landscapes to photograph.
Where do you go when you crave solitude?
Wheres your favorite place for breakfast?
The back porch which has my favorite view.
Whats your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning?
Finding a pancake breakfast and browsing in Dan Dwyer's Johnny Cake Books.
What newspapers, blogs, or websites do you read every day?
NY Times,ArtDaily Newsletter, Gizmag, Grist, ArchNewsNow, delancyplace.com,wordsmith.org and pbs.org/newshour.
Whats your favorite art gallery or event in or near the Berkshires?
Favorite gallery:in Great Barrington, The Iris Gallery. Favorite event:Jacob's Pillow Season Opening Gala.
The Berkshires area boasts many who are passionate about the arts, who are your favorite local artists? And how does he/she inspire you?
The magnificent sculptor Ann Scoville, who inspires me to never stop looking.
With whom did you study or train? What was their influence on you??
Both my parents were photographers. I grew up taking pictures and moved to NY in 1973 to pursue a career in photography. My first job was for Thirteen/WNET photographing for Newshour, Cavett, Nature, Dance in America, Great Performances, American Playhouse and Bill Moyers. Later for CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO, BBC, NHK and Warner Brothers.
How do you feel that living in the Berkshires informs your work?
The amazing people compliment the landscape.
What other artists do you admire or collect. What is it about them that you find appealing?
I admire Irving Penn's still lifes, Avedon's portraits, Ansel Adams, James Balog, Julia Margaret Cameron, James Nachtwey, Jill Krementz, Margaret Burke White, Eudora Welty and Cartier-Bresson for being original.
When not here, where in the world do you most enjoy spending your time?
Paris and road trips in the U.S.
BerkshireStyle is ...
growing to fill a huge void in the Berkshire's art and living scene. Our house is on the border of CT and MA - BerkshireStyle is building a bridge between the best of both.