A Tradition of Arts & Culture
Springs today art, culture and history are
routinely part of daily life, considered essential for the community's
well being. There is an award-winning arts council, several galleries
and a community of more than 125 working artists, musicians and authors
with more settling here daily. Berkeley
Springs is reliably listed as
one of the top art towns in America in books and national magazines.
It is West Virginia's first certified arts town.
The lively arts and culture scene includes a vintage
movie theater, history
museum, active historical society, public
group and several
community performance organizations including a concert band, choir and
theater group. The Morgan County schools are committed to arts education,
there are afterschool and adult art classes and live local music is available
year ‘round. The award-winning Morgan
Arts Council produces gallery
shows and Artwalks. Local artists stage two
studio tours a year, in spring
Berkeley Springs draws on arts and culture from its past. In the 18th
century, Berkeley Springs (officially named Bath) was the new country’s
only fashionable spa town. Traveling preachers complained that those
taking the waters preferred touring actors.
David Hunter Strother, known as Porte Crayon was an outstanding 19th
century sketch artist and one of America’s first travel writers.
He owned the 500-room Berkeley Springs Hotel and entertained other writers
including the great American author Washington Irving who visited Berkeley
Springs and was introduced to lawn bowling.
Cottagers and hotel guests in Victorian Berkeley Springs enjoyed professional
bands and often staged amateur theatricals. An Opera House was built
in 1902 and movies were first shown there in 1909.
The spa town’s history has always been an alluring topic for study.
Read more about local history in the Walking Tour
of Berkeley Springs, Treasure Tour of Berkeley Springs State Park and the Washington
Heritage Trail in Morgan County or visit it in person at the Museum of the Berkeley
See how Berkeley Springs art meets science...Frog Valley Artisans