May 3, 2011
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and Bassett Hall Offer Complimentary Admission on Saturday, May 14
Guests enjoy two new exhibitions during free admission to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Bassett Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
An important portrait by British artist Sir Joshua Reynolds of Col. Isaac Barré is one of two new acquisitions to Colonial Williamsburg’s collections showcased in the new exhibition, “More Than Meets the Eye: Maps and Prints of Early America.” Following acquisition of the painting, Colonial Williamsburg’s map curator Margaret Pritchard and associate curator Laura Barry identified the specific map shown in the painting. It was published in London in 1755 by Thomas Jefferys. A map book containing an imprint of the map also was acquired recently by Colonial Williamsburg and is displayed in the exhibition with the portrait.
“The Old Plantation: The Artist Revealed” at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum takes museum guests step-by-step through the process Susan Shames, decorative arts librarian at Colonial Williamsburg’s John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, used to discover who painted the iconic 18th-century watercolor depicting a group of 12 slaves at their leisure. This important piece depicting slave life has been in the collection for more than 70 years but little was known of its creator or the subjects.
During “Conversation with a Founding Father” at 12:30 p.m. in the Hennage Auditorium, guests can discuss issues that transcend time with Patrick Henry. A question-and-answer session follows. A free reservation is required.
Additionally, 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.
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, the 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 is located at 522 E. Francis St. and will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14.
Guests also will enjoy free admission to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and Bassett Hall on Saturday, Aug. 13 and Dec. 10.
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 www.history.org.