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August 9, 2002

Former curator named CW director of historic trades

Jay Gaynor, former Colonial Williamsburg curator of mechanical arts, has been named director of historic trades for the foundation. A member of the Colonial Williamsburg curatorial staff since 1981, Gaynor served as interim director of historic trades for nearly two years while continuing his responsibilities with the collections department.

In his new capacity Gaynor will oversee day-to-day operations, performance management and recruitment. Master tradesmen and supervisors in each of Colonial Williamburg’s 20 trade shops and sites will report to Gaynor. Because of his extensive knowledge of the foundation’s noted collection of period tools and mechanical instruments, he also will retain an informal advisory role in the collections department as consulting curator of mechanical arts.

“Jay has been a tremendous asset to the historic trades department these 20 months as interim director,” said Rex Ellis, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area vice president. “The Historic Area has found a valuable resource in Jay and we are thrilled that he has accepted this position on a permanent basis.”

“I am both pleased and honored to have been offered the position,” said Gaynor. “The activities of Colonial Williamsburg’s trades department comprise one of the most important museum programs in the country, and I’m looking forward to continuing work with the tremendously talented and skilled artisans who are its most vital resource. The historic trades role will continue to grow more and more significant as our society moves away from an understanding of traditional manufacturing and manual processes, and the challenge of ensuring that Colonial Williams-burg’s programs are nurtured, perpetuated and constantly improved is an exciting and rewarding mission.”

Prior to his position at Colonial Williamsburg, Gaynor, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, served in several administrative and curatorial capacities at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio, and director of the High Point Museum in High Point, N.C.

Media Contact:
Linda McElroy
(757) 220-7287