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March 20, 2003

Colonial Williamsburg's Costumed Tradespeople Lead Fashion Tours at Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum

Learn about 18th-century fashions from the people who made them. At 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays through Aug. 31, Colonial Williamsburg’s tradespeople, who interpret colonial fashion trades in the Historic Area, will share the perspective of the 18th-century milliner and tailor during the “Fashioning Fashion” tours at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The exhibition, “The Language of Clothing,” which displays more than 300 pieces of authentic clothing, accessories and dolls, will be the backdrop for the tours. The program is included in museum admission.

On Wednesdays, Janea Whitacre, supervisor of Colonial Williamsburg’s Millinery Shop, will examine 18th-century clothing trends, gowns copied by the Millinery Shop and how the antique clothing collection is used for research today.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in art history at Old Dominion University in 1981, Whitacre joined Colonial Williamsburg in 1982. Prior to working for the foundation, she was a docent at the 17th-century Adam Thoroughgood House in Virginia Beach.

On Fridays, Mark Hutter, a tailor in the Historic Area, will use a selection objects in the exhibition to illustrate the products of his trade, as well as the social implications and technical aspects of the garments.

A New York native and graduate of Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va., Hutter joined the foundation in 1996. Prior to coming to Colonial Williamsburg, he worked at the State Historical Society in Providence, R.I., and a local historical society in Corning, N.Y.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s award-winning DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, supported by the DeWitt Wallace Fund for Colonial Williamsburg, displays the foundation’s exceptional collection of English and American decorative arts. The museum is on Francis Street near Merchants Square and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For program information, call (757) 220-7724.

Known worldwide as the nation’s largest living history museum, Colonial Williamsburg’s mission is “that the future may learn from the past.” Colonial Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information, call toll-free (800) HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121