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March 29, 2013

April Program Highlights in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

Thomas Jefferson’s 270th birthday affords Colonial Williamsburg museum guests the opportunity to enjoy a conversation with our third President during “Happy Birthday to Mr. Jefferson at 270 Years Young” at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 13 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Later that afternoon, Prof. Peter Henriques, a George Washington scholar and author, explores the close, important and often conflicted relationship between Washington and Jefferson with the timely help of Bill Barker portraying Jefferson. “America’s Two Greatest Founding Fathers: An Examination of the Relationship Between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson” is presented at 5:30 p.m. in the Hennage Auditorium. A separate $5 ticket is required.

Historian James Walvin leads a lively discussion as he explores the representation of slavery in two recent movies: "Django Unchained" directed by Quentin Tarantino, and "Lincoln" directed by Stephan Spielberg. “Looking at Slavery: Tarantino, Spielberg and the Historians” is presented at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 in the Hennage Auditorium. No ticket is required for this presentation, part of Colonial Williamsburg's Equiano Forum, which seeks to broaden the public's knowledge of the past and to present issues concerning African American history and culture.

Williamsburg of the 1930s comes alive again with a live performance of the “Williamsburg Old-Time Radio Hour” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 6 in the Hennage Auditorium. The audience hears popular songs of the day and sees how radio sound effects were created while they laugh out loud at comedic stories and advertisements. A separate $4 ticket is required.

Musicians Brain Forsman and Barry Trott explore the instrumental and vocal music rooted in the Appalachian region with fiddle and banjo music that keeps toes tapping. “Oldtime Fiddle and Banjo Concert” is presented at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7 in the Hennage Auditorium.

Museum guests discover the art of storytelling through ancient Gaelic tales of kings and queens, princes and princesses, heroes and fools, dragons, giants and faeries — all told for the young and old and all in between. The spoken word of Gaelic storytelling paints pictures in the mind during “Tales from the Scottish Highlands and Islands” presented at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21 in the Hennage Auditorium.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg presents guided tours every day during April. “Decorative Arts Highlights” introduces guests to antique objects on exhibition — as manifested in paintings, ceramics, furniture, silver and textiles — in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum twice daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum offers twice-daily guided tours of the whimsical and fascinating world of folk art — paintings, sculpture, textiles and more — during “Introduction to Folk Art.” Tours begin at noon and 2 p.m. daily.

Museum guests are invited to create their own works of art inspired by decorative arts or folk art objects in the museum collection in April during two new hands-on programs. During “Open Studio,” guests may drop in anytime 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Mondays. “Sitting Pretty,” for families, explores a variety of portraits on exhibition at 1:45 p.m. Mondays, and then invites guests to create a portrait of their own.

Young museum guests are invited to learn about real secret codes used during the American Revolution and to try their hand at deciphering coded messages during “Crack the Code,” offered at 4 p.m. Mondays in April, except April 15.

Guided tours of the new exhibition, “Painters and Paintings of the Early American South,” begin in mid-April. “Focus on Southern Paintings” is offered at 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays beginning April 15.

Museum guests have the opportunity three times a week to learn more about the professionals who research and care for the antique objects in the museums, the special skills they bring to their work and the myriad hats worn by curators and conservators while they pursue their occupations. “Meet the Curator/Conservator” discussion tours are offered at 2:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout April except Friday, April 12.

A new guided tour for families introduces guests to imaginative objects created by untrained artists and encourages guests to create their own folk art masterpiece. “Folk Art for Families” is offered at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays throughout April.

“America’s Music” returns to the Hennage Auditorium stage with performances at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, April 2, 9, 16 and 30 as audiences discover music that has come from distant lands to become our own.

A new guided family tour, “Silver Safari,” takes guests through the museum galleries in search of silver decorated with creatures known and unknown, and then affords the opportunity to create a work of art inspired by the discoveries. “Silver Safari” is offered at 1:45 p.m. Tuesdays in April.

“Focus on Furniture” permits guests to take an in-depth look at rare baroque, rococo and neo-classical tables, chairs, chests and desks of the 18th- and early 19th-centuries. The guided tour is offered at 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays during April.

Museum guests can commemorate this visit by creating a postcard from recycled materials.
“Postcards! Salvage to Souvenir” is offered 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Wednesdays in April.

Cryptography is the name of the game, and “Spy Craft” gets the whole family involved reading and writing coded messages — just like Revolutionary War spies! Guest may try their hand at saving the Revolution at 4 p.m. Wednesdays during April.

Museum guests may explore colorful and creative album quilting traditions of the 18th century. “Explore Baltimore Album Quilts” uncovers premium examples in the museum’s collection made in and around the nation’s largest port city of the period. In addition, guests are invited to indulge their own creativity with a hands-on activity. The program is offered at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays during April.

Museum guests browse the exhibition galleries to “Music in the Museums,” with a member of the Governor’s Musick providing the melodic background from 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Thursdays in April.

“Princes Without a Palace: Tracing African Princes and Captives in Williamsburg” exposes the Williamsburg connections to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and relates the stories of African princes enslaved in the Chesapeake but determined to return to their homelands. Presented at 11:30 a.m. Thursdays throughout April as part Colonial Williamsburg’s Equiano Forum on Early African American history and Culture.

“A Century of Invention” offers young museum guests the opportunity to think like an 18th-century scientist and discover how revolutions in science sparked ideas that led to the American Revolution. The hands-on, family program is offered at 1:45 p.m. Thursdays during April.

A pair of ceramics programs is offered Fridays and Sundays in April. “Tantalizing Tableware of Our Colonial Ancestors” tells the tales of the ceramics used by early Americans. A guided tour beginning at 1:30 p.m. includes a visit to the ceramics storage vault. “Ceramics Up-Close” offers guests the opportunity to step into the ceramics vault and learn more about rare forms from Europe, America and the Orient. The behind-the-scenes adventure is offered 2 — 3:45 p.m.

All museum programs require a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass, Museums Pass or Good Neighbor Pass. Some require an additional ticket as noted.

Programs and exhibitions in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

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 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.

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley