By MARK VANHOENACKER
FOR many, the Berkshire Mountains are inimitably tied to one season: summer, when the area’s tandem blooms of high culture and cherished New England countryside draw a devoted global audience to this sparsely populated corner of Massachusetts.
Traditionally, early September brings a frosty curtain down on this fair-weather communion of art and land. The region’s snowy scenes may have inspired some notable James Taylor lyrics and the color of American literature’s most famous whale. But by midwinter, Arrowhead, Herman Melville’s former home, is open by appointment only, and Mr. Taylor’s beloved Tanglewood sees more snowshoes than Champagne flutes.
Yet even in January, cultural life here thrives, at museums, theaters and music halls. And when it’s time for a little après-edification, you’ll find acres of elbow room on area slopes.