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June 4, 2010

Program examines the differences in furniture that is antique, copied and fake

Eighteenth-century chairs are in high demand, but they aren’t always what they seem. Tara Gleason Chicirda, Colonial Williamsburg curator of furniture, discusses the differences in genuine antiques, old copies and outright fakes during the program, Antiques, Copies and Fakes: When Old Chairs Multiply, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 17 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

The June 17 presentation is part of an 11-month series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wallace Museum. Programs are scheduled monthly through December 2010.

Since 2002, Chicirda has curated a handful of exhibitions at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum including two that are currently on display: “American Furniture: Virginia to Vermont,” which highlights regional interpretations of furniture designs and styles; and “Exciting Expressions: American Painted Furniture,” which illustrates painted furniture case pieces, chairs and boxes embellished with decorative treatments.

Her research projects have taken her from Providence, R.I., to Milledgeville, Ga., resulting in articles published in American Furniture, The Magazine Antiques, and The Catalogue of Antiques and Fine Arts. Chicirda most recently published an article on the 18th- and early 19th-century furniture of Fredericksburg, Va. In 2002, she assisted with the catalog and exhibition “An American Vision: Henry Francis du Pont’s Winterthur Museum,” which was on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Chicirda is a graduate of Amherst College and holds a master’s degree from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur program in early American culture. She has held positions at the Winterthur Museum and the New Jersey Historical Society.

For each lecture, the Wallace Café in the soaring central atrium court of the museum is open until 6:30 p.m. to purchase light fare, a glass of wine or a cold beer.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this lecture.

Dates and topics of upcoming presentations include:

Thursday, July 22

  • “A tolerable advantageous Business”: The Varied Career of Paul Revere. Janine Skerry, Colonial Williamsburg curator of metals, explores the life and work of Boston silversmith and Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere.

Thursday, Aug. 26

  • Dirty Old Dishes: Archaeology, Ceramics, and Historic Interiors. Suzanne Hood, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of ceramics and glass, explores the role of historical archaeology in creating the accurate interior settings we see in today’s house museums.

Thursday, Sept. 23

  • Three Centuries of Quilts in America. From whole cloth to patchwork to crazy quilts, Linda Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg curator of textiles and costumes, looks at quilts in America from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Thursday, Oct. 21

  • George Washington Sipped Here: Tea and Liberty in 18th-century Virginia. Ceramics expert and Colonial Williamsburg products manager Liza Gusler explores the ritual of tea drinking in colonial Virginia.

Thursday, Nov. 18

  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Prints to Re-create the Past. Laura Barry, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of prints, maps and paintings, explores the role of 18th-century prints and other graphics in revealing the day-to-day lives of early Americans.

Thursday, Dec. 16

  • Decking the Halls: The Evolution of Holiday Decoration at Historic Sites. Amanda Rosner, Colonial Williamsburg assistant curator of historic interiors, looks at Christmas decorations in the house museum and reveals what is fact and what is fancy.

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

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at 326 W. Francis St. in Williamsburg, Va., 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 and cultural 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 website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121