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January 10, 2011

64th Annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum Explores New Discoveries in American Decorative Arts Feb. 19-23

The 64th annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum offers the very latest in new discoveries by experts and scholars in a series of fully illustrated lectures and video-assisted workshops Feb. 19-23.

“‘Freshest Advices:’ Recent Discoveries in American Decorative Arts” features noted presenters including Winterthur senior curator of furniture Wendy Cooper, Old Salem vice president and chief curator Robert Leath, and more than 20 other curators, historians, scholars, authors, collectors and dealers.

Other presenters include: J. Thomas Savage, director of museum affairs at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library; Sally Gant, director of programs for the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts; Johanna M. Brown, director of collections and curator at Old Salem Museums and Gardens; Elizabeth Davison, independent scholar; June Lucas, director of research at Old Salem Museums and Gardens; Mark Hewitt, potter and ceramics historian; Lisa Minardi, assistant curator of furniture at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library; Dr. Tricia Wilson Nguyen, owner of Thistle Threads; collectors John and Judy Herdeg; Cybèle Gontar of Sotheby’s Institute of Art; Beverly (Bly) A. Straube, senior archaeological curator for the Jamestown Rediscovery Project; John Nye, president of Nye and Company Auctioneers/Appraisers; and Robert Sackville-West (the 7th Lord Sackville) of Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent, England.

Colonial Williamsburg collections professionals also contribute their expertise with their presentations:

  • Ronald L Hurst, vice president of collections, conservation and museums, and the Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator;
  • Margaret Beck Pritchard, curator of prints, maps and wallpapers;
  • Janine E. Skerry, curator of metals;
  • Tara Gleason Chicirda, curator of furniture;
  • Linda Baumgarten and Kimberly Smith Ivey, curators of textiles;
  • Laura Pass Barry, associate curator of prints, maps, and paintings;
  • Suzanne Findlen Hood, associate curator of ceramics and glass;
  • Matthew A. Webster, director of historic architectural resources;
  • Cynthia (Dani) Jaworski, architectural collections specialist, and
  • Angelika Ruth Kuettner, associate registrar for photographic imaging.

    Following the formal sessions of the 2012 Antiques Forum, Colonial Williamsburg conducts six optional workshops for participants Friday, Feb. 24:

  • “Clash of Empires: Chinese Export and English Porcelains for Table and Mantel,”
  • “Pieces and Parts: Learning from Colonial Williamsburg’s Architectural Collections,”
  • “The ABCs of English Silver Marks and Coats of Arms,”
  • “Needlework Close Up: Embroidery before 1830,”
  • “A Closer Look at the Graphics Collection” and
  • "Furniture from Southeastern Pennsylvania to Piedmont North Carolina”

    The Antiques Forum program also offers four optional one-day bus tours Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19:

    Saturday, Feb. 18—

  • “Culpeper County” explores the rich history of this rolling Piedmont county to learn about connections to early Tidewater Virginia families and see important 18th- and 19th-century architectural treasures and their family collections. Lunch included. Limited to 20 participants.

    Sunday, Feb. 19 —

  • “Five Centuries in a Day Tour” includes visits to Agecroft Hall, Tuckahoe Plantation and Sherwood Forest.
  • “Between the James and the Chickahominy” ventures into rural Charles City County to visit two of America’s most famed and grandest 18th-century plantations with privileged access to rarely seen and surprising sections, wings and floors. More plantations are more obscure, down long unpaved drives, deep into marshy peninsulas and very private. It will be a day filled with splendid paneling and pilasters, colonial and Colonial Revival details, a half-moon privy, magnificent river vistas, tilted false plates and Chinese trellis stairs.
  • “Regional Decorative Arts and Architecture of North Carolina’s Chowan River Basin” takes participants south of the border to Hope Plantation, the elegant 1803 home of Gov. David Stone and its strong collections of eastern North Carolina’s regional furniture and decorative arts. The visit also includes the 1763 King-Bazemore House, one of the few remaining examples of a mid-18th-century North Carolina vernacular “hall and parlor” gambrel-roof dwelling.

    London furniture historian and author Lucy M. Wood presents the Gracia and Horatio Whitridge Distinguished Scholar Lecture, “Getting Inside a Chairmaker’s Mind: An Exploration of 18th-century London Practice,” in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. The lecture is open to the public.

    Advance registration and payment in full for the 2012 Antiques Forum is required. Registration of $600 includes admission to program presentations, an opening reception, daily continental breakfasts, coffee breaks and afternoon refreshments, a closing reception and dinner, and a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass valid for the duration of the Antiques Forum. Optional programs and tours incur additional fees. Special lodging rates are available for Antiques Forum attendees. For more information, telephone toll-free 1-800-603-0948 or visit the website

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    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. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Jim Bradley
    (757) 220-7281

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