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February 13, 2002

Colonial Williamsburg and Sotheby’s team up to present seminars on 18th-century food and ceramics

Colonial Williamsburg’s Williamsburg Institute will host two thought-provoking seminars in February: "Food Fashion and Culture," Feb. 21-23, and "From the Kitchen to the Parlor," Feb. 22-24.

In "Food Fashion and Culture," participants will travel back in time to examine the evolution of food in the Tidewater region of Virginia, from the founding of the colony in 1607 until the early Federal period. The program will take a unique look at all aspects of cooking culture–how recipes were used and changed over time, equipment usage, meal preparation, dining customs and the evolution of dining space.

Thomas Jefferson, interpreted by Colonial Williamsburg’s Bill Barker, will lead off the program with, "On Dining Well," a discussion of the third president’s dining habits at Monticello and in the White House, and the influence of the years he spent in France.

In "From the Kitchen to the Parlor," Colonial Williamsburg staff will join experts from Sotheby’s as well as an international slate of scholars and curators to explore the many types of ceramics–earthenware, stoneware and porcelain–that filled early American cupboards and furnished bedchambers, parlors and tea tables. Designed for both the novice and the devoted collector, the seminar will include hands-on workshops, lectures and a festive opening dinner that sets the stage for a room-by-room ramble through the ceramics of America’s past.

Registration must be made in advance and accompanied by the appropriate registration fee. For "Food Fashion and Culture," the $125 fee includes the opening reception, morning coffee break, all presentations and a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket. The Friday banquet is optional with an additional fee. For "From the Kitchen to the Parlor," the $245 fee covers dinner Friday, morning coffee breaks, the closing reception Sunday, a choice of three hands-on workshops and a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket. Participants may register for both seminars at a 10 percent discounted rate of $330.

Conference size is limited and registrations will be processed in the order in which they are received. Participants may register by mail, fax or on-line at or Fees are payable by major credit card (VISA, MasterCard or Discover) or by check to Colonial Williamsburg. For additional information, contact the conference registrar by telephone (757) 220-7174, fax (757) 565-8630 or email

Media Contact:
Sophia Hart
(757) 220-7272