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April 10, 2009

CW's American Indian Lecture Series examines 18th-century politics and material culture

Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian Lecture Series gears up with two one-hour lectures in April and May in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Both lectures are held at 5:30 p.m.

During the 18th century, 17 Cherokee delegations travelled to Williamsburg to discuss issues of trade, peace and alliance with officials of the Virginia colonial government. Duane King, director of the Gilcrease Museum, in Tulsa, Okla., discusses Cherokee Diplomacy of the 18th Century on Thursday, April 30.

A noted scholar in the history, art and anthropology of American Indians and the American West, he recently was appointed as the senior advisor for academic research and program outreach for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for the American Indian. King began his museum administration career in 1975 as director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, N.C., and later as executive director of the Cherokee National Historic Society in Tahlequah, Okla.

Non-archaeological items of material culture from the native peoples of the 18th-century American Southeast are remarkably rare. During the Thursday, May 14 lecture, Hidden in Plain Sight? 18th-century Woven Beadwork from the American Southeast, curator and historian Scott Stephenson discusses several recently identified examples of southeastern woven beadwork and share the interdisciplinary research that led to their rediscovery.

No ticket is needed to enjoy these programs. Reservations can be made at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlet.

The American Indian Lecture Series is part of the Foundation’s American Indian Initiative, which takes a broad-base approach to include the histories of American Indians in 18th-century Williamsburg.

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.

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