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Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series
at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum

Funded by the Horatio Hall Whitridge and Gracia Grieb Whitridge Lecture Series Endowment

A Colonial Williamsburg Admissions Ticket, Museum Pass, or Good Neighbor Card provides access for the public for most lectures. See individual lecture descriptions for any additional ticket or reservation requirements.

  • Next Lecture:

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
    Hennage Auditorium

    "I Cannot Tell A Lie": Myths About George Washington that Should be Discarded

    Peter Henriques

    Abigail Adams said that truth was George Washington's best eulogy. Professor Henriques examines a number of the various myths that have developed and which keep us from better understanding the remarkable individual who was our first and greatest president.

    $5.00 ticket in addition to Museum admissions, free reservation for CWF employees and volunteers, W&M students and faculty


  • Thursday, March 30, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
    Hennage Auditorium

    The Duel Between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr: The Musical and the Reality

    Peter Henriques

    Professor Henriques is "not throwing away his shot." Starting with a look at Hamilton, the most talked about Broadway show in years, Professor Henriques examines the most famous duel in American history and examines if it is possible to make sense out of the seemingly contradictory accounts of what actually happened.

    $5.00 ticket in addition to Museum admissions, free reservation for CWF employees and volunteers, W&M students and faculty


    Friday, April 14, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
    Hennage Auditorium

    Thomas Jefferson, The Lunar Society and the Darwins

    Lee Dugatkin and Bill Barker

    When Thomas Jefferson visited John Adams in London, they eventually made their way to Birmingham, home to that bastion of enlightenment thinking, The Lunar Society. Jefferson's mentor and friend, William Small, was one the Society's illustrious members, as were Joseph Priestly and Josiah Wedgewood. Erasmus Darwin too was a member of the Lunar society. Famous in his own right, today we know him best for being the grandfather of Charles Darwin, who shocked the world, and revolutionized the sciences with his theory of evolution by natural selection.

    Here, a modern evolutionary biologist (Lee Dugatkin) will step back in time and use these connections to the Lunar Society to probe Mr. Jefferson on his thoughts about natural history in general, and more critically, to explore Jefferson's reaction when he is introduced to Erasmus's grandson's earth shaking ideas on the history and diversity of life on earth.

    $5.00 ticket in addition to Museum admissions, free reservation for CWF employees and volunteers, W&M students and faculty


    Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
    Hennage Auditorium

    Revolutionary Dissent: How the Founding Generation Created the Freedom of Speech

    Stephen Solomon

    Stephen Solomon discusses the development of freedom of speech from before the Revolution when colonists were restricted from openly discussing politics (and Independence) by English common law, to the dramatic debates that helped ratify the Constitution in the early years of our new Republic. A book-signing will follow.

    $5.00 ticket in addition to Museum admissions, free reservation for CWF employees and volunteers, W&M students and faculty


    Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
    Hennage Auditorium

    Tales from the Road and Folk Art

    Ken Farmer

    Antiques appraiser, Ken Farmer will discuss his experiences on PBS's Antiques Roadshow as a folk art expert. How did the popular television show get its start, and what have been some of the highlights? Throughout the talk, Farmer will discuss what folk art is and how perceptions about it are changing as enthusiasts are collecting at every level.

    $5.00 ticket in addition to Museum admissions, free reservation for CWF employees and volunteers, W&M students and faculty


Programs and exhibitions at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.


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