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March 16, 2011

Preserving a National Treasure: Research and Preservation Efforts at Drayton Hall

Matt Webster, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of historic architectural resources, presents new research and discusses the history and preservation efforts at Drayton Hall during the program, “Preserving a National Treasure: A New Look at Drayton Hall.” Drayton Hall, the 1738 Charleston, S.C., plantation, has survived the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and hurricanes. The hour-long program is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum’s Hennage Auditorium.

In his current position, Webster works to preserve the historic and re-created structures owned and operated by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He served as director of preservation at Drayton Hall from 2006 to 2008. He was the director of architectural restoration at Kenmore, the 1770’s home of Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis, from 2001 to 2006. At Kenmore he was responsible for the entire architectural collection owned by George Washington’s Fredericksburg Foundation which included Ferry Farm (1720s), Kenmore (1770s), Accokeek (1740s) and Pine Grove (1870s).

Webster serves on the board of directors for Falmouth Heritage Renewal in Falmouth, Jamaica, and on the advisory boards for Stratford Hall, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee, and Menokin, home of Francis Lightfoot Lee. He has taught classes at the University of Mary Washington and is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. He has consulted on numerous restoration projects at 18th- and 19th-century historic sites.

This is the third in a series of lectures on Colonial Williamsburg’s museums, collections and conservation that will be held through December 2011.

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

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.

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