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April 22, 2005

CW features trio of local authors at Wallace Museum

Colonial Williamsburg will host lectures by three noted local authors -- civil war expert Carson Hudson, art historian Don Smith and architectural historian Carl Lounsbury – at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The first two lectures coincide with the 143rd anniversary of the 1862 Battle of Williamsburg, while the second focuses on the architecture of colonial courthouses. Each will take place in the Hennage Auditorium. Admission is included in museum admission.

Carson Hudson, author of “Civil War Williamsburg,” will present “Yankees in the Streets” at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 5. In May 1862 the Battle of Williamsburg was fought on the outskirts of the quiet town. Union troops occupied the city and for the rest of the war, Williamsburg residents, who had supported the Confederacy, were forced to live under Union military government. Drawing on firsthand accounts, Hudson will introduce the personalities and events that occurred in and around the old colonial capital during the Civil War.

Don Smith, who recently published a book on the work of English artist Lefevre James Cranstone, will present his findings in “Lefevre James Cranstone: His Life and Art” at 4 p.m., Friday, May 6. Cranstone traveled across America from 1859-1860 and painted watercolors of antebellum American cities and towns – including Williamsburg – just prior to the Civil War. Nearly 300 of the artist’s American watercolors survive today in Indiana University’s Lilly Library Collection, and six are owned by Colonial Williamsburg. Smith’s lecture is sponsored in part by the Paul Mellon Arts in Education program, under the auspices of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Carl Lounsbury, a member of Colonial Williamsburg’s architectural research department since 1982, will present “Court Day in Early Virginia” at 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 11. Lounsbury will focus on findings from his latest book, “Courthouses of Early Virginia,” a comprehensive history of the public buildings that, between 1650 and 1800, developed into specialized structures and reflected the growth of a wealthy agricultural society. He also will discuss the events of court day – from social gatherings on courthouse grounds to the conviviality of taverns.

The Wallace Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is included in any multi-day Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or by separate museums ticket. For museum program information, call (757) 220-7724.

Media Contact:
Sophia Hart
(757) 220-7272