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Historic Highfield Hall & Gardens (Falmouth MA lodging)

July 17th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Falmouth MA near Woods HoleWoods Hole is a village of the town of Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod,  and Historic Highfield Hall and Gardens is three miles up the road.  Highfield Hall is a restored house surrounded by gardens and now used for art exhibits, cultural gatherings and events.  The Woods Hole Inn is a perfect jumping off point for your Falmouth, MA lodging to explore Highfield Hall and the arts on Cape Cod.

This season at Highfield Hall, don’t miss the exhibit called “Portals and Passageways.”   As you drive up Highfield Drive, you will see trees that have been “yarn bombed” with brightly colored knitting.  This fabulous burst of color turns an everyday forest into a gaggle of well-dressed statues, anthropomorphizing trees into stately ladies on a stroll from the Hall.  What a perfect welcome, a cheeky hello if you like, to this unusual exhibit.

The guided walk starts with “Fragment House,” a glass sculpture by Danielle Krcmar made with sea-glass suspended from wire and steel.  Stepping in this little cubicle, you look back up at the main house and reflect on the nature of habitats, the joy of windows, and the wonder of scale.  Poetry is carved on glass panels, the light glints on the fragments, and the summer wind breezes past you for a magical effect.  You know what they say about people in glass houses…

As you wander the paths around the gardens, you will find other wonders from local artists — a series of mirrors installed in thin strips like trees in the woods (Andrea Thompson), a mossy path leading to a beautiful copper beech tree (Wendy Bagley), a geodesic peat moss hut called “Pan’s Portico” (Ben Silva), a felt covered sign inviting you to explore “Hither and Yon” (Salley Mavor) and much more.  These sculptures and installations remind us of our relationship to the wild, of the nature of man’s need to build shelter, of the beauty of the dappled sunlight in the forest, of how lucky we are to have such skilled artists and craftsmen living on Cape Cod.

Great credit for the very existence of this resource in town goes to a group of dedicated preservationists who reclaimed Highfield Hall from the jaws of the wrecking ball and turned it into one of the best arts resources on Cape Cod.  Special thanks to Jim and Ruth Clark, and others, for leading the charge.  Our town is a better place for their generosity.  One visit to Historic Highfield Hall will convince you, and if you are looking for the perfect lodging Falmouth, MA, please check out the rooms at the Woods Hole Inn, just three miles down Woods Hole Road from this cool spot.

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Ruth and Jim Clark at Highfield Hall

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