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October 2, 2012

Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg Offer Free Admission Oct. 6-7

Colonial Williamsburg is offering free admission to its museums Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, in celebration of An Occasion for The Arts weekend. The 44th annual art show and music festival is held on the first weekend of October in Merchants Square. The event features more than 170 local and national artists.

Guests receive free admission to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, which houses the Foundation’s renowned collection of British and American fine and decorative arts dating from 1600 through 1830, and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, the oldest institution in the United States dedicated solely to the collection and preservation of American folk art, on Oct. 6-7. They are located at 326 W. Francis St., Williamsburg.

Free admission also includes Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby Rockefeller, on Oct. 6 located at 522 E. Francis St.

“American Folk Portraits” at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum includes 45 oil portraits in a wide variety of sizes and one sculpture. Five of the portraits are new acquisitions, never before exhibited by Colonial Williamsburg. Of the five, one was painted in Norfolk, one in Richmond and two on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The single sculpture is “Amanda Armstrong,” carved in wood during the 19th century by Asa Ames.

“Tramp Art,” also at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, features objects made by carving edges of cigar box wood, usually with a penknife. The carved wood was then stacked and fastened with small nails or glue to create detailed three-dimensional designs.

Programs in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum include:

  • “Scherernschnitte…What’s That?” introduces guests to the German art of scissor cutting. Simple silhouettes to more intricate designs are among the choices to snip out in the same manner as Swiss and German immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries. 10:30 a.m. Oct. 6.
  • “Decorative Arts Highlights” acquaints guests with some of the masterworks on exhibition such as paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture and silver. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 6-7.
  • “Introduction to Folk Art” explores the whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, textiles and more from Mrs. Rockefeller’s original collection for which the museum was founded. Noon and 2 p.m. Oct. 6-7.
  • “Who, What & Ware” gives guests an in-depth tour of the museum’s ceramics collections including interesting stories about the craftsmen, their creations and the functions for which they were used. 1:30 p.m. Oct. 7.
  • “Ceramics Up Close” informs guests about rare ceramic forms from Europe, America and the Orient. 2 p.m. Oct. 7.

    For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY or (757) 220-7724.

    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

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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