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February 8, 2011

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and Bassett Hall Offer Complimentary Admission on Saturday, Feb. 12

Guests can enjoy free admission to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Bassett Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12.

Guests to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum can enjoy the newest exhibition, “Fashion Accessories from Head to Toe: 1600 to 1840.” More than 200 fashion accessories are displayed — from hats to shoes and everything in between: stockings, handkerchiefs, shawls, gloves, purses, aprons, jewelry and watches.

Families can drop in and create a work of art to take home inspired by the objects in the galleries at 10:30 a.m. during “Art Stop.”

Guests can explore the galleries through two special focus tours, “Decorative Arts Highlights” and “Introduction to Folk Art.” “Decorative Arts Highlights” features some of the masterworks on display such as paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture and silver at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. “Introduction to Folk Art” spotlights fascinating selections from the folk art collections at noon and 2 p.m.

Guests can enjoy two classics from the Colonial Williamsburg film vault in the Hennage Auditorium. At 1:30 p.m. watch as the “The Gunsmith of Williamsburg” makes a rifle using 18th-century tools and techniques and at 2:30 p.m. the “The Silversmith of Williamsburg” makes a coffeepot out of scraps of silver.

Gowan Pamphlet, known locally as a popular preacher in the 18th century, offers his perspective on slavery, religion and freedom in the Hennage Auditorium at 4 p.m.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at 326 W. Francis St. in Williamsburg, Va., and will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Enter through the Public Hospital of 1773.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.
For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

Tour the Rockefellers’ Home

Free admission also allows guests to explore Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr. The property was given to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1979 by the Rockefeller family. First opened to the public 30 years ago, Bassett Hall underwent an extensive restoration and re-interpretation in 2002 that was funded by a gift from Abby O’Neill, granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and her husband George.

Today, both interiors are much as they were when the Rockefellers lived there during the mid-1930s and 1940s to oversee the restoration of the Historic Area. Of particular note is Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s eclectic collection of 125 pieces of folk art, including weather vanes, chalkware and schoolgirl art—pieces that Mrs. Rockefeller was among the first in the nation to collect.

Bassett Hall are located at 522 E. Francis St. and will be open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12.

Guests also can enjoy free admission to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and Bassett Hall during Saturday, May 14, Aug. 13 and Dec. 10.

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 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday from January 3 through March 13, 2011. 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 www.history.org.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121



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