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April 13, 2010

Eighteenth-century children’s needlework focus of lecture at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum

The intricate detail of 18th- and early 19th-century needlework and the lives of its creators are featured in the lecture, Records of Virtue: Virginia Samplers and Their Makers. Kim Ivey, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of textiles and historic interiors, discusses 18th- and early 19th-century schoolgirl needlework produced by Virginia girls. Guests can enjoy this hour-long program at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

A native of Williamsburg, Ivey began as a historical interpreter in the Historic Area in 1976 and received a degree in anthropology from the College of William and Mary. Since 1980, she has held numerous positions in the collections department in Colonial Williamsburg, including curatorial textile fellow and associate registrar. She is currently the associate curator of textiles and historic interiors and has researched and coordinated furnishings projects at many of the buildings in the Historic Area, including the Governor’s Palace, Bassett Hall and Charlton’s Coffeehouse.

Ivey has produced numerous articles and exhibits. In 1990, she published an original article on Virginia needlework called “‘First Effort of an Infant Hand’: An Introduction to Virginia Schoolgirl Embroideries, 1742-1850” in the journal of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. In 1997-98, Ivey’s 12 years of investigative work on Virginia embroideries resulted in the exhibit, “Virginia Samplers: Young Ladies and Their Needle Wisdom,” and the accompanying book, “In The Neatest Manner: The Making of the Virginia Sampler Tradition.” In 2007-2008, she published “American Schoolgirl Needlework: Records of Virtue, Part I and Part II” in the Antique Needlework & Sampler Quarterly Magazine. She co-curated the exhibition, “Seeing Stars in American Bedcovers,” with Linda Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg curator of textiles and costume. The exhibition is currently on view in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

This April 22 presentation is part of an 11-month series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wallace Museum. Programs are scheduled monthly through December 2010.

Enjoy light fare, a glass of wine or a cold beer at the Wallace Café in the soaring central atrium court of Colonial Williamsburg’s decorative arts museum. The Wallace Café will be open until 6:30 p.m. on the night of the lecture to accommodate lecture guests.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this lecture.

Dates and topics of upcoming lectures include:

  • Thursday, May 27, Colonial Gentlemen and the Study of America’s Natural History. Colonial American men of means were often fascinated by the study of America’s flora and fauna. Margaret Pritchard, Colonial Williamsburg curator of prints, maps and wallpaper, discusses their role in sharing the natural wealth of the Americas with European scholars of the day.
  • Thursday, June 17, Antiques, Copies, & Fakes: When Old Chairs Multiply. Eighteenth-century chairs are in high demand, but they aren’t always what they seem. Tara Chicirda, Colonial Williamsburg curator of furniture, discusses the differences between genuine antiques, old copies and outright fakes.
  • Thursday, July 22, “A tolerable advantageous Business”: The Varied Career of Paul Revere. Janine Skerry, Colonial Williamsburg curator of metals, explores the life and work of Boston silversmith and Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere.
  • Thursday, Aug. 26, Dirty Old Dishes: Archaeology, Ceramics, and Historic Interiors. Suzanne Hood, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of ceramics and glass, explores the role of historical archaeology in creating the accurate interior settings we see in today’s house museums.
  • Thursday, Sept. 23, Three Centuries of Quilts in America. From whole cloth to patchwork to crazy quilts, Linda Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg curator of textiles and costumes, looks at quilts in America from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Thursday, Oct. 21, George Washington Sipped Here: Tea and Liberty in 18th-century Virginia. Ceramics expert and Colonial Williamsburg products manager Liza Gusler explores the ritual of tea drinking in colonial Virginia.
  • Thursday, Nov. 18, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Prints to Re-create the Past. Laura Barry, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of prints, maps and paintings, explores the role of 18th-century prints and other graphics in revealing the day-to-day lives of early Americans.
  • Thursday, Dec. 16, Decking the Halls: The Evolution of Holiday Decoration at Historic Sites. Amanda Rosner, Colonial Williamsburg assistant curator of historic interiors, looks at Christmas decorations in the house museum and reveals what is fact and what is fancy.

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

    The Wallace Museum, which opened in 1985, features 15 galleries in 25,000 square feet of exhibition space as well as an auditorium and a café. The museum houses the Foundation’s renowned collection of British and American fine and decorative arts dating from 1600 through 1830. Featured in regularly changing exhibitions, these include the world’s largest collection of Southern furniture; nationally important holdings in English silver and pewter; a vast collection of 18th-century clothing and textiles; and one of the largest collections of British ceramics outside England. Masterworks and period pieces acquired for Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area exhibition buildings bolster the museum’s holdings in furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, maps, tools, weapons, numismatics and textiles.

    The award-winning Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is the oldest institution in the United States dedicated solely to the collection and preservation of American folk art and is located adjacent to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Exhibits feature paintings, drawings, furniture, ceramics, whirligigs, weather vanes, carvings, toys, quilts, musical instruments and other folk works representing many diverse cultural traditions and geographic regions. John D. Rockefeller Jr. established the museum in 1957 in honor of his wife, Abby, and her love of folk art.

    The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at 326 W. Francis St. in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. 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.

    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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