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August 15, 2008

New Bassett Hall program explores Abby Aldrich Rockefeller's favorite folk art objects

A new program at Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of Colonial Williamsburg benefactors John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, offers a two-hour workshop for guests to explore the folk art theorem paintings collected by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.

The Art of Theorem Painting begins with a guided tour of Basset Hall, introducing guests to the folk art that Abby Aldrich Rockefeller collected for her Colonial Williamsburg residence. Mrs. Rockefeller treasured theorem paintings, the folk art objects made by American school girls between the ages of 10-15 as part of their private school education. Guests have the opportunity to make their own theorem paintings by creating a design using stencils on a linen background, then finishing it off by painting their design. The creative workshop discovers the beauty of theorem painting at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5 and 12. Space is limited. A separate $10 admission ticket with advance registration is necessary to enjoy this new program. Please call 1-800-HISTORY for reservations.

Bassett Hall was the Williamsburg home of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr. They acquired the property in the late 1920s, but did not move in until 1936. The home reflects Abby Aldrich Rockefeller's interest in folk art, a medium that she was among the first to collect and which is the core of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

A two-story 18th-century frame house near Colonial Williamsburg's Capitol, Bassett Hall is set on a 585-acre tract of woodlands. In addition to the home, the property includes a teahouse and three original outbuildings: a smokehouse, kitchen and dairy. Bassett Hall is located at 522 E. Francis St. and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except on Wednesdays.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®,” a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121