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March 1, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg’s Women’s History Month Highlights Roles of Women on the Eve of the American Revolution

During Women’s History Month in March, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg showcase the many roles of women on the eve of the American Revolution.

New programs offered this year begin with “Martha’s Decision, Oney’s Choice.” Martha Washington’s favorite slave, Oney, has run away. Guests learn about the complex relationship between Mrs. Washington and her attendant. Hear from the First Lady and Oney as they try to understand what happened in a relationship that was so close and yet so distant at 12:30 p.m. March 2, 9, 12, 22 and 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This program is included in Historic Area or museum admission.

During “Made by Women,” guests learn about folk art created by female artists at 1:30 p.m. March 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This program is included in Historic Area or museum admission.

Additional programs include:

  • “Women in Portraits” features a guided tour through the galleries to see how women have been depicted in 18th- and 19th-century portraits at 10:30 a.m. March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.
  • “An Uncommon Soldier” relates the stories of women who joined the military ranks in disguise. Mounted on horseback and fully accoutered, an interpreter gives guests a feel for how and why some women chose to step outside their appointed sphere at noon March 3, 7, 14, 17, 21, 28 and 30, Magazine.
  • “Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Tour” profiles in the woman behind Colonial Williamsburg’s folk art collection that includes paintings, sculpture, schoolgirl art and more. The program is at 1:30 p.m. March 5, 12, 19 and 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • “A Lady and Her Music” gives guests the opportunity to enjoy music that enlivened 18th-century households at 2 p.m. March 7 at the Geddy House.
  • “The Polite Academy” uncovers the world of an 18th-century lady through the skills necessary to be considered an accomplished member of polite society at 10:30 a.m. on March 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29, Raleigh Tavern.
  • “Women’s Work in Business and Trade” features a group discussion focusing on women in commerce in Colonial America. Several skilled tradeswomen from Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades shops answer questions about women in trades in the 18th century at 11:30 a.m. March 8 and 22 at the Raleigh Tavern.
  • “Accessorize” explores the exciting exhibition, “Fashion Accessories from Head to Toe,” as well as 18th- and 19th-century portraits that illustrate the accessories. A hands-on activity follows. The program is at 1:30 p.m. March 8, 15, 22 and 29, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • “Talk of the Town: The Women’s Tour” introduces guests to women who made their home in 18th-century Williamsburg. Learn their joys and sorrows, triumphs and tears as they experience a time filled with challenges, change and uncertainty at 11:30 a.m. March 13, 20 and 27 at the Greenhow Store Office.
  • “'Unbecoming her sex’: Women in Music” explores the lives of professional female musicians in a man’s world, featuring violin, flute and guitar music at 11 a.m. March 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30, Raleigh Tavern.
  • “Freedom to Slavery” tells the compelling story of Elizabeth, an enslaved African American woman forced back into slavery after living free with the Shawnee Indians on the western frontier at 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. and noon on Saturday, March 17, 24 and 31 at the Milliner Shop. Reservations are required.
  • “Jane’s Struggle” discusses how Jane, a woman of mixed heritage, struggles with social limitations based on racial identity at 11 a.m. March 18 and 25 at Great Hopes Plantation.

    These programs are included in Historic Area or museum admission. For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY.

    The L. Kay Wilkinson Endowment for Women’s Studies helps underwrite Colonial Williamsburg programs such as Women’s History Month.

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

    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, 20th and 21st centuries. 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:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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