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August 17, 2004

Last chance to see tavern signs and Hampton's Throne at CW

Two popular folk art displays – “Lions & Eagles & Bulls” on loan from the Connecticut Historical Society and “James Hampton’s Throne of the Third Heaven” on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. – will finish long-term tours at Colonial Williamsburg’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum Sept. 6. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these striking presentations before they return to their home museums after Labor Day.

“Hampton’s Throne,” an imaginative altar-like creation crafted by South Carolina native James Hampton between 1950 and 1964, is made up of more than 180 pieces of discarded materials, from wooden furniture, aluminum and gold foil to cardboard, paper, plastic and light bulbs.

“Lions & Eagles & Bulls” features two-dozen exquisite examples of 18th and 19th-century tavern and inn signs bearing the likenesses of proud lions, patriotic eagles and solemn bulls. This colorful assortment is part of the nation’s largest collection of early American tavern and inn signs.

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, which was opened in 1957 by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation benefactor John D. Rockefeller Jr. in honor of his late wife Abby and expanded in 1992, will close for renovation and re-location in January 2005. A new facility will begin construction adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s highly popular DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in early 2005. The new location not only will provide greater visibility for the Folk Art Museum but also will enable it to expand its programming and current exhibition space from 10,800 square feet to 11,200 square feet.

Centralization of the two museums will give Colonial Williamsburg museum guests access to the Wallace Museum’s Hennage Auditorium for enhanced programming opportunities and to the Wallace Museum Café for a guest dining option. Each museum will retain its distinct identity and name, though the complex itself will be referred to collectively as the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The anticipated opening date for the new Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is fall 2006.

The award winning Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is one of the five world-class museums belonging to the Colonial Williamsburg, which operates the nation’s largest living history museum. The folk art museum is the first U.S. institution devoted exclusively to collecting, exhibiting and researching American folk art. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is included in any Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or by separate one-day or annual museums ticket. For program information, call (757) 220-7724.

Media Contact:
Sophia Hart
(757) 220-7272