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December 28, 2010

New Family Programs Featured During Winter 2011 at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

This winter families can warm up to new programs at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. During “Explore the Declaration of Independence,” kids investigate the exciting events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution and then create a souvenir to take home. Geared for children ages 10 and up. 4 p.m. Jan. 15, Feb. 26 and March 5.

“Accessorize!” centers around the new exhibition, “Fashion Access from Head to Toe,” opening Jan. 29 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. During a guided tour, families examine 18th- and 19th-century portraits that illustrate the accessories. A hands-on activity follows the program. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 2-March 9.

Families celebrate Black History Month in February through two new family programs. During the storytelling program, “African American Folk Tales for Families,” guests hear African or African American folk tales, tour the galleries and make a craft. Geared toward children ages five through seven. 10:30 a.m. Fridays, Feb. 4-25.

“Discover Gee’s Bend Quilts” showcases one-of-a-kind African American quilting traditions and history of Gee’s Bend, Ala., while explore two examples in the museum’s collection. Young guests can explore their creativity with a hands-on activity. 1:30 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 4-March 11.

Coats of arms are the focus of the new family program, “Heraldry.” Following a guided tour of the galleries, kids learn the meaning behind the symbols and then illustrate a book to take home. Recommended for children ages eight and up. 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 3.

“Then & Now” features a tour for families using objects in the galleries to compare life in the 18th century to life in the 21st century. 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3.

Special Focus Tours Return

Guests can explore the galleries through two tours, “Decorative Arts Highlights” and “Introduction to Folk Art.” “Decorative Arts Highlights” features some of the masterworks on display such as paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture and silver. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily, Jan. 3-March 13.

A knowledgeable guide introduces guests to whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, textiles and more from Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s collection on which the museum was founded during “Introduction to Folk Art.” Noon and 2 p.m. daily, Jan. 3-March 13.

During “Who, What & Ware,” guests examine the museum’s ceramics collections including interesting stories about the craftsmen, their creations and the functions for which they we used. Learn more about earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain from Europe, America and the Orient. 1:30 p.m. Fridays Jan. 7-March 11 and Sundays Jan. 9-March 13.

Guests join a volunteer in the Ceramics Study Room to learn more about the Foundation’s rare ceramics forms from Europe, America and the Orient during “Ceramics Up-Close.” 2 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 7-March 11 and Sundays, Jan. 9-March 13.

During “Focus on Furniture,” museum volunteers guide an in-depth tour of 18th-century and early 19th-century furniture including rare baroque, rococo, and neo-classical tables, chairs, chests and desks. 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 4 –March 10.
“African American Folk Art” explores the 18th- and 19th-century folk art created by or depicting African Americans. Guests discover what the art tells us about their lives. 3 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 31-Feb. 21.

A museum volunteer discusses fashion accessories and needlework in the textile study drawers during “Textiles Up-Close.” 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 2-March 9.

On a guided tour, guests examine 20th-century folk art creations and the lives of the artists who made them during “20th-century Folk Art.” The tour will focus on the fascinating work and lives of Mattie Lou O'Kelley, Miles Carpenter, Jack Savitsky and others. 5 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 4-25.

Admission to these programs is included in all Historic Area or museum admission passes.

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

Guests at the Wallace Café in the soaring central atrium court of the museum can enjoy light fare including sandwiches, salads and soups to take off the chill this winter.

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 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday from January 3 through March 13, 2011. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

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

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121