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November 23, 2010

Hands-on Holiday Programs Explore Historic Craft Techniques

Before the days of computer-generated art, artists created handmade pieces of striking intricacy and beauty. This holiday, a variety of programs at Bassett Hall and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum explore five historic craft techniques with tours of the museum’s collections followed by hands-on workshops where guests can create their own works of art.

Bassett Hall’s own collection of needlework and other holiday decorations inspire participants of the “Basset Hall Holiday Workshop: Cross Stitched Ornament” to create one for their own tree. 10 a.m. Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and 18.

On Dec 1 at 10 a.m., the two-hour “Bassett Hall Holiday Workshop: The Art of Theorem Painting” gives guests insight into the early American traditional art form that involves layers of painting with stencils. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller collected these brightly patterned pieces, sometimes made by schoolgirls for her Williamsburg home. Participants will learn basic skills for designing and making their own theorem using stencils on a linen background and finish by painting the design.

At the “Bassett Hall Workshop: Swedish Heart Ornament,” participants will create a heart ornament for their own tree using basic stitchery. They also will learn about the Swedish couple who worked for the Rockefeller’s as caretakers during the restoration of Williamsburg. 10 a.m. on Dec. 8 and 15.

All holiday arts workshops are $15. For more information about programs at Bassett Hall, call (757) 220-7453.

The technique of reverse painting on glass creates striking contrasts and bold colors. At the “Festive Folk Art Workshop: Reverse Painting on Glass,” guests will view the painting, “The Wheat Stack,” before attempting their own creations. At the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 4 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 14 and 28.

Scherenschnitte is a delicate German scissor-cutting technique, whose intricate designs are featured in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. As part of the “Festive Folk Arts Workshop: Scherenschnitte,” participants are invited to browse the museum’s collections for German-inspired folk art and then try their hand at their own scherenschnitte creations. At 4 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 21. For more information about programs at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, call (757) 220-7526.

All holiday folk arts workshops are $15. For more information about programs at Bassett Hall, call (757) 220-7526.

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 include 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, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization 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 website at www.history.org.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121



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