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September 12, 2011

Fall Women’s Programs Highlight Contributions of Women in the 18th and 20th Centuries

Fall programs in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums examine contributions of women ranging from America’s first First Lady Martha Washington to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of Colonial Williamsburg benefactor John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Guests learn about the women who made Martha Washington into George Washington’s worthy partner during “The Women Who Influenced Martha Washington.” This multi-media presentation takes place at 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Oct. 10, Oct. 24-Nov. 7 and Nov. 21 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this program.

The guided museum tour, “Williamsburg’s Restoration,” explores Colonial Williamsburg’s restoration from the Rockefellers’ early visits through Mrs. Rockefeller’s generous gift of her folk art collection. The tour is illustrated by objects on exhibition. Guests can enjoy this 45-minute tour at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 4-Nov. 15 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area admission pass gains entry into this program.

During “The Talk of the Town: The Women’s Tour,” guests meet some of the women who called Williamsburg home in the 18th century and learn about their lives in this time of uncertainty. This one-hour walking tour begins at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays through Nov. 22. A free reservation is required. A Colonial Williamsburg annual pass, Good Neighbor Card or hotel guest pass provides access to this tour.

A woman’s parlor was her domain, and it was there that she spent her time engaged in the skills necessary to be considered an accomplished member of polite society. Guests discover the work of the 18th-century lady during “The Polite Academy” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 27 and Oct. 4-Nov. 22 (except Oct. 11 and Nov. 1) at the Raleigh Tavern. A Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area admission pass gains entry into this program.

Guests also can participate in a walking tour with Edith Cumbo, a free African Virginian woman. In “Her Enduring Spirit” she offers a unique perspective on life in Williamsburg. Join her as she conducts her business and learn about the active roles that women played in Williamsburg and nearby cities. The program takes place at 11 a.m. Saturdays through Nov. 19. A free reservation is required. Tickets are included in all Historic Area passes.

“Women’s Work in Business and Trade” features a group discussion focusing on women in commerce in Colonial America. Several skilled trades women from Colonial Williamsburg’s historic trades shops answer questions to inspire more interest and accuracy into the subject of women involved in trades throughout the 18th century. The program takes place at 11 a.m. on Thursdays, Sept. 29 and Oct. 20 at the Raleigh Tavern. Admission is included in all Historic Area passes.

Guests discover the lengths to which both sexes are willing to go for physical perfection during “The Art of Beauty” at 10 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 15-Nov. 19 at the Wythe Kitchen. Ladies and gentlemen improved upon nature with cosmetics, powders, perfumes and pomades made from imported and local spices, resins and herbs that claimed magical healing and beautifying properties. Admission is included in all Historic Area passes.

For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The David Rockefeller Endowment Fund for Historic Area Programming Renewal funds new interpretive initiatives. The L. Kay Wilkinson Endowment for Women’s Studies helps underwrite programs that focus on women.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

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. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121