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Conferences, Forums, and Workshops


The office of Conferences, Forums and Workshops presents a broad range of high-quality programs that address issues of historical and contemporary significance as well as focusing on the decorative arts, material culture, historic trades and horticulture. Colonial Williamsburg's skilled professionals are joined by distinguished members of the academic and professional communities to present these programs.

Join us for the Garden Symposium, Working Wood, the Antiques Forum, and other programs for a rewarding learning experience.

Please bookmark this site and check back frequently for new offerings. Special conference rates are available for programs at Colonial Williamsburg's official hotels. To make lodging and dining reservations, call 1-800-261-9530 Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Program Information and Online Registration


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    February 2-5

    Working Wood in the 18th Century
    Be Seated!  Eighteenth Century Chair Making

    The 2017 woodworking conference will explore the regional, stylistic, and construction variations in a range of 18th-century American seating furniture and the shops that made them, from finely carved high style chairs from large  to the gracefully turned vernacular Windsor chair. Joining Colonial Williamsburg’s cabinetmakers will be nationally known scholars and traditional woodworkers who will present demonstrations, programs and workshops on the construction, carving,  and turning involved in producing seating furniture. Special conference highlights will include presentations on the history of 18th-century seating furniture, Windsor chair finishes, and tools and toolmaking.

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    February 24-28

    69th Annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum
    Early American Craftsmanship: Influence and Innovation

    Generations of American fine and decorative arts were heavily influenced by the home cultures of immigrant artisans and consumers. Evidence of British, German, French, African, and other trade practices may be discerned in goods produced from Maine to Louisiana. At the same time, America's distance from the Old World, its access to different materials, and interactions between diverse cultural groups created a fertile environment for innovation in the arts. You are invited to learn more about this dynamic aspect of American material culture at the 69th annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum, Early American Craftsmanship: Influence and Innovation.

    The 2017 Forum will gather acclaimed curators, collectors, and scholars from across the United States to share recent findings and insights. Scheduled speakers include June Lucas, director of research at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Kentucky art historian Estill Curtis Pennington, and Lisa Minardi, noted scholar on Pennsylvania-German culture, among others.

    In addition to the formal program, Forum guests may register for optional workshops with the Colonial Williamsburg collections and private tours of historic homes in the region. Addressing a broad range of American decorative arts, this promises to be a memorable Forum. Please plan to join us February 24-28, 2017, for Early American Craftsmanship: Influence and Innovation.

  • March 26-28

    Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home

    With their brilliant colors and engaging designs, early painted and printed textiles were eagerly sought for fashionable clothing, quilts, and other home furnishings. But textiles also tell human stories that sound modern: traders transporting goods from the other side of the world in ships powered by wind and sails; domestic workers trying their best to respond to foreign competition; people making the effort to dress in up-to-date styles despite their limited means; and the importance of chemistry and mechanical expertise in the production of consumer goods. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia, hosts this symposium about painted and printed textiles with invited speakers and juried papers.

    The symposium will coincide with the exhibition "Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home, 1700-1820" to be mounted in the Gilliland Textile Gallery.

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    April 29 and 30, 2017

    Garden Symposium

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Post Office Box 1776
Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776

Telephone: (757) 565-8937
Toll free: (800) 603-0948