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August 7, 2009

CW's museum guided tours explore the Foundation's objects, creators and owners

Guests to Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums can journey through the 18th and 19th centuries as they tour the galleries and get a glimpse into the Foundation’s collections. Guided tours reveal the history behind the objects, and the people who made and owned them.

The tours include:

  • Decorative Arts Highlights, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily, Aug. 31-Nov. 25, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Knowledgeable museum volunteers introduce guests to some of the masterworks on exhibition, such as paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture and silver.
  • An Introduction to Folk Art, noon and 2 p.m. daily, Aug. 31-Nov. 25, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Guided tours introduce guests to the whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, textiles and more from Mrs. Rockefeller’s original collection for which the museum was founded.
  • Focus on Furniture, 2:15 and 3:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Sept. 1-Nov. 24 and Thursdays, Sept. 3-Nov. 19, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Museum volunteers guide this in-depth tour of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, including rare baroque, rococo and neo-classical tables, chairs, chest and desks.
  • Textiles Up Close, 1:30-4 p.m., Wednesdays, Sept. 2-Nov. 25, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A knowledgeable museum volunteer leads guests through the textile gallery to learn about the latest textile exhibitions on view and to examine quilted fashions, costumes and needlework in the textile study drawers.
  • Ceramics Up Close, 2:15 and 3:30 p.m., Fridays, Sept. 4-25 and Sundays, Sept. 6-27, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This in-depth tour of the museum’s ceramics collections includes interesting stories about the craftsmen, their creations and the functions for which they were used. Learn more about earthenware, stoneware and porcelain from Europe, America and the Orient.
  • Migrating Cultures, 5 p.m., Fridays, Sept. 4, 18, Oct. 9, 23, Nov. 6 and 20, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On this 45-minute guided tour, learn about 17th- and 18th-century European immigrant groups, why they moved to the colonies and where they settled. Examine decorative details on furniture, paintings, musical instruments and learn about the immigrant groups that made them or brought them to America.

    Young museum goers will enjoy:

  • What’s a Fraktur? 10:30 a.m., Mondays, Sept. 14 and 21, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Discover the German art of fraktur making. Guests then create a certificate to take home.
  • Art Detectives, 1:30 p.m., Mondays, Sept. 14 and 21, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Young guests can become art detectives on guided tours that explore portraits. Following the tour, guests can make a mixed media portrait to take home.
  • World Turned Upside Down, 10:30 a.m., Tuesdays, Sept. 15 and 22, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests explore the exciting events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, and then create a patriotic souvenir to take home. For ages 10 and up.
  • Folk Art Afternoons, 4-5:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Sept. 15 and 22, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Guests drop in and create their own folk art object based on the folk art collections to take home.
  • Wee Folk, 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays, Sept. 16-Nov. 18, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Children are invited to enjoy a story, explore the museum galleries and make a craft. Designed for children ages three to seven. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Crack the Code, 3 p.m., Wednesdays, Sept. 16 and 23, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Learn about secret codes and ciphers used by George Washington and other leaders during the American Revolution. Guests can try their hand at “cracking the code,” using the spy techniques. For ages eight and older.
  • Mini Masterpieces, 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests drop in and create an artist trading card to commemorate their visit to Colonial Williamsburg’s museums. No experience is necessary. Turn magazine and catalog photographs, copies of 18th-century prints and colored paper into a mini collage.
  • Drawing on George, 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, Sept. 17 and 24, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On a guided tour of the galleries, families will search artwork for flags, bald eagles, George Washington and Lady Liberty. Participants then will make a keepsake to take home.
  • Magical Creatures, 10:30 a.m., Fridays, Sept. 18 and 25, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On this special guided tour, young guests explore the galleries for griffins, phoenixes, mermaids, dragons and unicorns while recording their discoveries in a book to take home. For children ages eight and above.
  • Lucy Locket, 1:30 p.m., Fridays, Sept. 18 and 25, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On a guided tour of the “Quilted Fashions” exhibition, learn the nursery rhyme about Lucy Locket and discover 18th-century pockets on view. Young museumgoers can design their own pocket to take home.
  • Art Stop, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Sept. 24 and Saturdays, Oct. 3-Nov. 14, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests can create a work of art to take home inspired by the objects in the collection.
  • Scherenschnitte…What’s That? 10:30 a.m.-noon, Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 20, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests try their hand at the German art of scissor cutting and make a keepsake to take home based on folk art on exhibit.
  • Stitch Detectives, 1:30 p.m., Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 20, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests can explore quilted fashions with an expert guide and express their creativity with a hands-on activity.
  • Ornaments, 4-5:30 p.m., Wednesdays, Oct. 7-Nov. 18, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests can create an ornament for their Christmas tree based on an object from the folk art collections.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to enjoy these programs.

    Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are comprised of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made in America during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and embracing most categories of American folk art by well-known folk artists. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from the period 1670–1830.

    Entrance to Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. For information call (757) 220-7724. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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