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March 13, 2009

CW's Art Museums offer programs for people of all ages during March and April

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. ? Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums and Bassett Hall will host guided tours and hands-on activities this spring.

Beginning in March, young guests can enjoy these hands-on programs:

  • Scherenschnitte…What’s That? Try your hand at the German art of scissor cutting. 10:30 a.m. Fridays, March 20 – May 15, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Wee Folk. Children ages 3-7 will enjoy a story, explore the galleries and make a craft. 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, March 18 – June 10, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Magical Creatures. Explore the galleries for griffins, phoenixes, mermaids, dragons and unicorns in artwork. 10:30 a.m. Saturdays, March 28 – May 16 (except April 25 and May 9), Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • Mini-Masterpieces. Drop in and create an artist trading card to commemorate your visit. 4-5:30 p.m., Saturdays, March 28 – May 16 (except April 25 and May 9), Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

    In April, young guests can tour the galleries and create a souvenir to take home through these programs:

  • Lucy Locket. On a guided tour of the “Quilted Fashions” exhibition, learn the nursery rhyme about Lucy Locket and discover 18th-century pockets on view. Then design your own pocket to take home. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, April 1, 8, 15 and 22, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Art Stop. Drop in and create a work of art to take home inspired by objects in the collection. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Mondays, April 6, 13 and 20, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Crack the Code. Learn about real secret codes and ciphers used by George Washington and other leaders during the Revolution, then try your hand at "cracking the code" using the spy techniques you've learned. 1:30 p.m. Mondays, April 6, 13 and 20, and 4 p.m. Fridays, April 3, 10, 17 and 24. Meet in the Hennage Auditorium at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Drawing on George. On a guided tour of the galleries, families will search artwork for flags, bald eagles, George Washington and Lady Liberty and then make a patriotic keepsake to take home. 4 p.m., Mondays, April 6, 13 and 20, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Art Adventures. Explore the art galleries on a guided tour for families investigating a special theme or collection of objects and then make a work of art to take home. 1:30 p.m. Fridays, April 10, 17 and 24, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

    Unless otherwise noted, the programs meet at the grand staircase.

    Guests can learn about cultural influences transmitted through decorative arts and folk art by early immigrants to the colonies during the program, Migrating Cultures, 5 p.m. Fridays, March 20, 27, May 1, 8 and 15, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On this 45-minute guided tour learn about 18th-century European immigrant groups, why they moved to the colonies and where they settled. Trace their migrations through the objects they brought with them or produced in America. Examine decorative details on furniture, paintings, musical instruments and more to learn about the immigrant groups that made them.

    Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    Entrance to Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. For information call (757) 220-7724.

    Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, will host a variety of programs this spring. Abby’s Art returns 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays, April 9, 16 and 23. Young guests can try their hand at making a theorem.

    “That the Future May Learn from the Past” offers an opportunity for guests to meet Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, the man who helped Mr. Rockefeller restore Williamsburg. Guests will join Dr. Goodwin in the Bassett Hall garden where he reflects on the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, his association with John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his own fascinating life and career at Bruton Parish Church, the College of William and Mary, and within the community of Williamsburg. 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays, March 21, 28, April 4, 11 and 18.

    A Bassett Hall interpreter will lead guests on Garden Tours at Bassett Hall through the Rockefeller gardens, sharing stories about the family's visits to Williamsburg in the spring and fall in the 1930s and ‘40s, and about the flora and fauna they loved to see here. Learn about the creative landscape architect that designed the gardens at Bassett Hall and about the events that unfolded under the "Great Oak." 10 a.m. Wednesdays, March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.

    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.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to enjoy these programs at Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums and Bassett Hall.

    Colonial Williamsburg museum interpreter Ed Way portrays the Rev. W.A.R. Goodwin during the program, “That the Future May Learn from the Past” this spring at Bassett Hall. To obtain this image, contact Penna Rogers at (757) 220-7121 or at

    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 guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    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

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