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December 20, 2002

55th Antiques Forum includes presentations by David Rockefeller, national experts

The Williamsburg Institute at Colonial Williamsburg will host the 55th annual Antiques Forum Feb. 2-6, 2003. “Antiques in America: Great Houses, Great Collections” will explore America’s rich heritage of important 18th-century collections and some of the remarkable houses in which they are shown.

More than 20 curators, collectors and historians will present the latest scholarship in a series of illustrated lectures and video-assisted workshops. Many of the objects discussed will be seen publicly for the first time. In addition to the formal program, guests will enjoy special evening events including an intimate look at the newly renovated Bassett Hall, the restored Williams-burg residence of Abby Aldrich and John D. Rockefeller Jr., and optional tours of private historic homes in the region.

Highlights of this year’s program include:

  • Discussion by Ronald L. Hurst, Carlisle Humelsine Chief Curator and Vice President, Collections and Museums, of new Colonial Williamsburg acquisitions.
  • Keynote speech by Wendell D. Garrett, senior vice president, American Decorative Arts, Sotheby’s, New York, N.Y.
  • A special lecture, “A Lifetime of Collecting,” by David Rockefeller, son of Abby Aldrich and John D. Rockefeller Jr.
  • Expert presentations on individual American collections by guest speakers from Winterthur Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Historic Charleston and the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
  • Lectures by Colonial Williamsburg curators: Suzanne Findlen, assistant curator of ceramics and glass; John R. Watson, conservator, instruments and mechanical arts; and Linda Baumgarten, curator, textiles and costumes.
  • A special presentation by three noted collectors: Foster McCarl, Beaver Falls, Pa.; Mrs. Henry Weldon, New York, N.Y.; and John Hyman, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Optional workshops conducted by Colonial Williamsburg experts: The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing; The Secrets of the Chocolate Maker; To Clean or Not to Clean? Caring for Your Objects; How to Look at Old Pewter; Casting Your Own Pewter Spoon; Identifying Ceramics; and Exploring Furniture.

    Conference registration must be made in advance and accompanied by the registration fee of $530 per person and full payment of all optional program fees. The conference registration fee includes the opening reception, continental breakfasts, coffee breaks and afternoon refreshments, a closing reception and dinner, all presentations and workshops. For more information, contact, toll-free at (800) 603-0948, by email at or by fax at (757) 565-8630. To register online, visit

    Media Contact:
    Sophia Hart
    (757) 220-7272

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