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November 14, 2006

Experts explore "The Arts of the American South" during the 59th Annual Antiques Forum

The 59th annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum returns to its traditional setting Feb. 4-8, 2007 at the Williamsburg Lodge – restored and renovated with new conference and meeting facilities – and coinciding with the re-opening of the new, expanded Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

Under the 2007 theme, “The Arts of the American South,” the Antiques Forum will explore the wealth of remarkable furniture, silver, ceramics, textiles, paintings and prints made and used in the early South. The program brings together widely recognized experts and specialists – among them curators, conservator and collectors – to offer insight and knowledge from each vantage.

The program includes several presentations by Colonial Williamsburg professionals. Ronald Hurst, Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president of collections and museums, details “Recent Additions to the Colonial Williamsburg Collection.” Carolyn Weekley, the Juli Grainger director of museums, explores “Making Faces: Portrait Painting in the Early South.” John Davis, the Samuel and Pauline Clarke senior curator of metals, presents “English Silver in the South.” Margaret Pritchard, curator of prints, maps and wallpaper, covers “Cultural Landscape of the Early South.” Kimberley Smith Ivey, associate curator of textiles, details “Needlework in the Early South.” Shelley Svoboda, paintings conservator, provides insights about “Conserving a Southern Painted Room.” Christopher Swan, furniture conservator, presents “Painted Furniture in the South.” John Turner, program manager and religion program specialist, explores “From Gow to Gilliat: Some Early Musical Influences in the American South.”

Visiting presenters include Graham Hood, Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator emeritus, who provides professional insight into “Jim Cogar, Colonial Williamsburg’s First Great Curator: A Southern Story.” In addition, Robert Leath, vice president of collections and research for North Carolina’s Old Salem Museum and Gardens, describes “Decorative Arts of 17th-century Virginia.” William Kelso, director of archaeology for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities’ Jamestown Rediscovery; explores “James Fort and Jamestown Island.” Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, assistant curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, presents “Baltimore Painted Furniture.” J. Thomas Savage, director of museum affairs at Delaware’s Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, presents “Decorative Arts of the Carolina Low Country.” Philip Zea, president of Massachusetts’ Historic Deerfield, describes “The Southern Backcountry.” Thomas Gray, cofounder of North Carolina’s Old Salem Toy Museum, presents “Frank L. Horton, Dean of Southern Decorative Arts: The Man Behind the Myth.” Luke Beckerdite, editor of American Furniture explores “Moravian Decorative Arts in the South.” Bruce Perkins, a private collector in Washington, D.C., explains “Collecting Chinese Export Porcelain.” North Carolina auctioneer Andrew Brunk draws upon his expertise to define “The Market for Southern Antiques.”

Optional programs include three one-day bus trips on Sunday, Feb. 4. Choose to visit the southwest mountains of Albemarle County to explore a series of farms included in a 1727 land grant of 17,000 acres, go to Goochland County and its wealth of early architecture to the west of Richmond or opt for a visit to Surry and Isle of Wight Counties and three centuries of historic architecture. Afternoon in-depth tours of the Colonial Williamsburg conservation laboratories – furniture, musical instruments, paper and metals – allow participants to explore the lab of their choice.

Three optional programs are presented Friday, Feb. 9. “From Hearth to Table: Preparing and Serving an 18th-century Meal” details the history and process of cooking and serving dinner and is presented by Emily Roberts, assistant curator of historic interiors, and Dennis Cotner, Historic Foodways specialist cook. “Floorcloths” explores the production and use of painted canvas floor coverings and is presented by Virginia Lascara, co-owner of Black Dog Gallery of Yorktown and Virginia Beach. “Demystifying English Porcelain” is a hands-on workshop led by Janine Skerry, curator of ceramics, which focuses on the key characteristics, forms and patterns of 18th-century English porcelain tableware. In addition, the conservation lab tours are offered again Friday morning.

Registration for the 2007 Antiques Forum is $550 per person and includes admission to Antiques Forum sessions, an opening reception, continental breakfasts, coffee and refreshment breaks, and the closing reception and dinner. Registration also includes a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket valid through the duration of the Antiques Forum. Optional programs are at additional cost and are priced separately. Antiques Forum registrants enjoy special lodging rates at the official Colonial Williamsburg Hotels. Pre-registration is required and there are three easy ways to register: by fax at (757) 565-8921, online at or by mail to Conferences, Forums and Workshops, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776. For more information, telephone toll-free 1-800-603-0948.

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281