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October 18, 2011

Look behind the Closed Doors of America’s First Hospital for the Mentally Ill

Guests can look behind the closed doors of the Public Hospital, America’s first hospital for the mentally disordered, during the new program “A Method for Madness.” The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 and 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7, Thursday, Nov. 11 and Monday, Nov. 21 at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, 326 W. Francis St.

Guests hear stories of those living on the fringes of society and the people who dedicated their lives to the care and treatment of the mentally ill during colonial times.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor card gains entry to these programs.

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, 20th and 21th 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