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August 26, 2008

Fall programs educate, entertain young and old at the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum feature an assortment of guided tours and interactive programs for all ages during the fall.

The following guided tours and interactive programs are a sampling of what is offered:

  • Highlights from the Collection. This 30-minute guided tour introduces visitors to the 18th-century paintings, furniture and ceramics on display in the decorative arts museum, with an emphasis on the museum’s “Masterworks” exhibit, as well as offering information on the history of the decorative arts collection here in Williamsburg. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day, except Nov. 27, at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • An Introduction to Folk Art. Enjoy a 30-minute guided tour of whimsical and fascinating selections from Mrs. Rockefeller’s original collection for which the museum was founded. Group tours run at noon and 2 p.m. every day, except Nov. 27, at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • Ceramics Up-Close. This in-depth, 45-minute look at the museum’s ceramics includes interesting stories about the craftsmen, their creations and the functions for which they were used. Tours begin at 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays through Nov. 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Focus on Furniture. Rare baroque, rococo and neo-classical furniture of the 18th and early 19th centuries is the focus of this specialized, 45-minute tour. 2:15 and 3:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays through Nov. 25 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Small Wonders. Get an up-close look at “A Child’s-Eye View,” the museum’s exhibition of vintage toys from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Treasured dolls, dollhouses, model trains and other toys of yesteryear will delight children of all ages on this 45-minute tour. 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Saturdays through Nov. 24 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Ornaments. Drop in and create a folk art ornament for your Christmas tree or a souvenir of your visit inspired by objects from the collection. 2:30-4 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 3, 17, 31 and Nov. 14 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Textiles Up-Close. With a museum volunteer, explore the textile gallery and examine needlework and textiles in the textile study drawers. 1:30-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 22 through Nov. 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

    Also for the younger museumgoer, the following special family programs will be offered:

  • Drawing on George. Celebrate patriotism as you explore the museums for American flags, bald eagles, George Washington and Lady Liberty. Make a keepsake to take home. This hour-long program begins at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, Sept. 10 and 17 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • Crack the Code. Investigate various secret codes and ciphers used by George Washington and other leaders during the Revolution. Try your hand at “cracking the code” using the spy techniques you’ve learned. Geared for ages 8 and older, this hour-long program begins at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Sept. 10 and 17 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • World Turned Upside-Down. Explore the exciting events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and American Revolution and make a patriotic souvenir to take home. Geared for ages 10 and above. This hour-long tour begins at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays, Sept. 12 and 19 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Mini Masterpieces. Create an artist trading card to commemorate your visit to Colonial Williamsburg using images and words from the 18th century. Drop in to the program from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Sept. 12 and 19 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! A Doll’s Life. Explore the galleries for dolls and drop in to create your very own doll from recycled objects. Saturdays, Sept. 13 and 20 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Wee Folk. Explore the museum galleries through stories and activities. Geared for children 3-7 years and their adult friends. This 45-minute program begins at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 1 through Nov. 12 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • Magical Creatures. Explore the galleries for griffins, phoenixes, mermaids, dragons and unicorns while illustrating a book to take home. Geared for ages 8 and above. This hour-long tour begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 4, 18, Nov. 1 and 15 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Space is limited.
  • Toys! A is for Animal. Search the galleries for beasts of all sizes and then make one of your own. 2:30-4 p.m. Oct. 4 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Stitch Detectives. Discover quilts and quilted fashions in the museum exhibits and then explore your creativity with a hands-on activity. This hour-long program begins at 3 p.m. on Sundays, Oct. 5, 19, Nov. 2 and 16 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • The Toymaker’s Workshop. Experience on of the oldest forms of entertainment, a shadow puppet play for all ages. Set in Victorian times, the story is brought to life by a storyteller and puppeteers with live sound effects. After the show, take a peak behind-the-scenes to learn how the show was produced. 4:15 p.m. Oct 11, 25 and Nov. 8 at the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! Sailors’ Games. Drop in to try your hand at sailors’ games and test your abilities as you make one to take home. Oct. 18 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! Yikes, Snakes! Explore the galleries for snakes in art, followed by decorating a snake of your own. Nov. 1 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! Adopt a Toy Dog. Drop in and create miniature accessories to care for your adopted toy mini pet. 2:30-4 p.m. Nov. 15 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, Good Neighbor Card or museums ticket provides access to enjoy these family programs.

    Entrance to the museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724.

    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 tradespeople 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 daily 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 www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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