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January 31, 2003

Colonial Williamsburg, Chipstone Foundation Partner to Display "Furniture of the American South" Exhibition Online (18th- and 19th-Century Furniture Focus of Colonial Williamsburg's 21st-Century Electronic Exhibition)

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Chipstone Foundation of Milwaukee have partnered to publish “Furniture of the American South: 1680-1830, The Colonial Williamsburg Collection” online. “Furniture of the American South,” which now is a traveling exhibition making stops in Raleigh, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn., features the finest examples of furniture from three regions—the Chesapeake, the Low Country and the Back Country. The electronic exhibition can be found at

The exhibition is based on “Southern Furniture 1680-1830, The Colonial Williamsburg Collection,” co-authored by Ronald L. Hurst, vice president of collections and museums for Colonial Williamsburg and chief curator, and Jonathan Prown, executive director and chief curator of the Chipstone Foundation.

This is the first museum exhibition that Colonial Williamsburg has featured online. “We are delighted to see this mixture of high tech and decorative arts,” said Hurst. “Thanks to the Chipstone Foundation, this new ‘virtual exhibition’ will bring a piece of Colonial Williamsburg to people who can’t come see our collection here in Williamsburg.”

The electronic exhibition gives extended life and additional value to the exhibition. “One of the depressing aspects of being a curator is you work for three to five years on installing an exhibition that is up three to six months and, poof, it’s gone,” said Prown.

Furniture in the online exhibition is displayed by region and information contained in the original museum label accompanies each image. In addition, a user browsing through the online exhibition can run the cursor over an image for more detail about a specific object or click on the image for a closer look at a studio shot of the artifact.

The Chipstone Foundation was established in 1987 to promote American decorative arts scholarship through the study of the Stanley and Polly Stone collection, as well as support decorative arts projects and books at other institutions.

Known worldwide as the nation’s largest living history museum, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is a not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. For more information, call toll-free (800) HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121