Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

January 10, 2003

CW presents clothing, textiles seminars this month

Colonial Williamsburg next week will present “The Language of Clothing: Costume Treasures,” a three-day conference in conjunction with “The Language of Clothing,” a blockbuster exhibition of Colonial Williamsburg’s extensive collection of 18th-century clothing. The program will be held Jan. 12-14 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum where “The Language of Clothing” will be on display through Feb. 14, 2004.

Naomi Tarrant, retired curator of costumes and textiles at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh, will feature costumes from a selection of British and continental collections. Colleen Callahan, curator of costumes and textiles at the Valentine Museum/Richmond History Center, will discuss highlights of the Richmond museum’s extensive collection. Costume historian Nancy Rexford, whose recent book about shoes won a Costume Society of America award, will discuss accessories currently held in a number of New England museum collections. Additional presentations will address the role of the private collector in selecting period clothing.

Colonial Williamsburg experts will include: Linda Baumgarten, curator of textiles and costumes and exhibition curator; Kimberly Ivey, associate curator of textiles; Loreen Finkelstein, textiles conservator; and Richard Hill, manager of the Costume Design Center. Tailor Mark Hutter will represent Colonial Williamsburg’s historic trades, along with Janea Whitacre, milliner and mantua-maker. Activities will include illustrated talks, demonstrations and behind-the-scenes tours.

The $185 registration fee includes an opening reception on Sunday, coffee breaks and tea Tuesday afternoon, and Colonial Williamsburg admission during the conference. Pre-registration is required and conference size is limited. For program details and registration information, call toll-free (800) 603-0948 or by email at

Later that week, the foundation also will present “Textile Art Studies at Colonial Williamsburg” for the fifth consecutive year, Jan. 15-18, 2003. More than 20 classes will be offered covering a wide range of textile-related topics from decorative trimmings for clothing to floor cloths. Additional workshops on aspects of 18th-century clothing will be featured this year in conjunction with “The Language of Clothing” exhibition.

“Textile Art Studies” will appeal to needle workers, weavers, students and those who reproduce period clothing, as well as individuals interested in displaying and preserving textiles. Wigs, shoes, waistcoats and gowns will be the focus of workshops led by staff from Colonial Williamsburg’s historic trades. Local needlework expert Carol Harrison will offer “A Sampling of Samplers,” drawing motifs from Colonial Williamsburg’s collections; Virginia Lascara of The Black Dog Gallery in Yorktown will host a workshop on floor cloths; and Joanne Harvey of The Examplarery in Dearborn, Mich., will teach needlework classes.

Media Contact:
Sophia Hart
(757) 220-7272