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February 10, 2012

Getting inside a Chairmaker’s Mind: An Exploration of 18th-century British Practice

Guests discover the role of British furniture makers during the program, “Getting Inside a Chairmaker’s Mind: An Exploration of 18th-century British Practice” by Lucy Wood, freelance historian and consultant, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St., Williamsburg.

Wood explores the evidence revealed by surviving furniture that suggests what a maker was aiming to achieve, how he (or occasionally she) sourced ideas, how those ideas can be especially revealing and also allows us to feel much closer to the maker than a perfect creation. The division of labor and other aspects of workshop practice will be explored, including the different ways and purposes of making pattern chairs.

Wood was curator at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight (part of National Museums Liverpool) from 1982 to 2002, and then senior curator of furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum until 2011. At the Victoria and Albert Museum, she worked on a new furniture gallery – the first of its kind – which will focus on the wide variety of manufacturing techniques deployed in furniture, opening in late 2012.

The Wallace Café in the soaring central atrium court of the museum is open for the purchase of light fare, a glass of wine or a cold beer on the night of the program.

Access to this lecture is included in all Historic Area or Museum admission passes.

This Distinguished Scholar Lecture is funded by the Horatio Hall Whitridge and Garcia Grieb Whitridge Lecture Series Endowment.

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. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 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