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October 6, 2009

Foundation curators discuss the renovation and reinterpretation of the Governor's Palace

Colonial Williamsburg’s Governor’s Palace opened as an exhibition building in 1934. Two Foundation scholars will celebrate this milestone during programs offered in October. Both will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

On Oct. 14, Graham Hood, former Carlisle H. Humelsine Curator, discusses the many developments that resulted in the changes to the furnishings in the Governor’s Palace during Rethinking the Governor’s Palace: The 1970s. Curators, historians and others analyzed inventories of historic houses in this country and in England, studied period graphics and read 18th-century letters and diaries in an effort to present a more accurate portrait of the past.

This lecture is a continuation of the Wallace Museum Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series funded by the Horatio Hall Whitridge and Gracia Grieb Whitridge Lecture Series Endowment.

On Oct. 21, Erik Goldstein, curator of mechanical arts and numismatics, discusses the reinterpretation and reinstallation of the Palace arms display during The Arms Display at the Governor’s Palace: Its Origin and Reinterpretation. Throughout the 18th century, the Palace arms display was periodically documented, culminating in a detailed inventory recorded in late June 1775 by Col. Theodorick Bland of the Virginia militia. Bland’s inventory, along with freshly interpreted primary source documents and up-close examinations of surviving 17th- and 18th-century British arms displays and compelling archaeological artifacts, provided an opportunity to re-create this display not just weapon for weapon but with the exact types removed in 1775.

A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides admission to the programs.

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.

The museums will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are comprised of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made in America during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and embracing most categories of American folk art by well-known folk artists. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from the period 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets, in Williamsburg, Virginia and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (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. 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