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August 17, 2010

Historical Archaeology Lays Foundation for Creation of Accurate Interior Settings

Suzanne Hood, Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of ceramics and glass, explores the role historical archaeology plays in creating interior settings in house museums during the program, Dirty Old Dishes: Archaeology, Ceramics and Historical Interiors, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Since 2002, Hood has worked with the Foundation’s ceramics and glass collections. She began as assistant curator, and in 2008, became an associate curator. In June 2009, she assumed sole responsibility of the glass and ceramics collections. She also is co-curator of the exhibition, Pottery with a Past: Stoneware in Early America, which presents an array of stoneware from Germany, England and early America, at the Wallace Museum. The exhibition is on display until Jan. 2, 2011.

Hood’s research focuses on 18th-century archaeological ceramics, American stoneware and British pottery. She co-authored “Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America,” winner of the American Ceramic Circle Book Award for 2009, with Janine Skerry, curator of metals.

Hood holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheaton College and a master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. She has held positions at The Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wis.

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

The Aug. 26 presentation is part of an 11-month series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wallace Museum. Programs are scheduled through December 2010.

All hour-long lectures begin at 7 p.m. Dates and topics of upcoming presentations include:

  • 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 include 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, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization 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