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July 9, 2010

Boston Patriot Paul Revere Known For More Than His Midnight Ride

Janine E. Skerry, Colonial Williamsburg curator of metals, explores the life and work of a Boston silversmith and Revolutionary War patriot during “A tolerable advantageous Business”: The Varied Career of Paul Revere. In addition to examining the range of silver objects produced in the Revere shop, Skerry will explore Revere’s achievements as an engraver, shopkeeper, founder and industrialist as she charts his transformation from artisan to entrepreneur. Guests can enjoy this hour-long program at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Skerry was curator of ceramics and glass at the Foundation for more than 16 years. In June 2009 was appointed curator of metals. She served as co-curator for the reinstallation of the permanent ceramics and metals galleries of the Wallace Museum that opened in September 1996.

With support from the Richard C. von Hess Foundation, Skerry co-authored with Suzanne Hood, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of ceramics and glass, the book, “Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America,” the first comprehensive examination of the diverse range of German, English and American stoneware owned in America prior to 1800. The volume won the American Ceramic Circle Book Award for 2009. An accompanying exhibition, “Pottery with a Past: Stoneware in Early America,” will be on view at Colonial Williamsburg through Jan. 2, 2011.

She has lectured and written widely on silver and ceramics in England and America, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Ceramic Circle from 1993 to 2009.

The July 22 presentation is part of an 11-month series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wallace Museum. Programs are scheduled monthly through December 2010.

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

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

Dates and topics of upcoming lectures include:

  • 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 Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121