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The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

The Art Museums of
Colonial Williamsburg

The distinctive collections of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum are located under one roof. Enter through the Public Hospital of 1773 and be sure to investigate the exhibits detailing mental illness treatments from the 18th and 19th centuries. The hospital was the first of its kind in North America.

Downstairs, you’ll find wonderful examples of American and British antiques and decorative art from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries and be able to explore bold and imaginative pieces of colonial and contemporary folk art.

View more upcoming events in our calendar.

Dollhouse for World Made Small
The World Made Small

Dollhouses are some of the most popular miniature versions of the real world.

Bruton Parish Church
Faith, Community and Change:
The Early History of Bruton Parish Church


Explore the first hundred years of the church’s history and its important role in the community.

Magnolia Image for Birds, Bugs, and Plants
Birds, Bugs, and Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century

Explore the fascination of New World plants and animals with this exhibitions beautiful watercolors and prints.

A sample from the exhibition, A Celebration of Quilts
A Celebration of
American Quilts


This exhibition features 12 American quilts that represent the widely diverse types of quilts made in America from the 18th and 20th centuries.

Example of Chinese Porcelain from the collections of Colonial Williamsburg
China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America

A wide variety of Chinese porcelain with a particular focus on pieces with histories in Virginia.

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For just $10 more than our Single-day Ticket, enjoy admission for the rest of the year! Explore all Colonial Williamsburg homes, community places, and trade shops—including our two art museums—and enjoy the convenience of our complimentary shuttle.

Your Multiday Pass includes:

  • Unlimited admission to up to 35 exhibition sites and 22 trade sites practicing more than 30 18th-century trades, 2 world-class museums, and more than 100 gardens until December 31, 2015.
  • 10% discount on most additional tours and evening programs.

Need to Know

  • Your voucher must be exchanged for a ticket at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.
  • Discounts do not apply to any evening programs between Thanksgiving Day and the first weekend after New Year’s Day.
  • Programs do not include dining events.
  • Some regular daytime programs require reservations.
  • Pricing and benefits are subject to change. Programs are subject to change; some may be weather dependent. Check out our Inclement Weather Policy for more information.
Colonial Williamsburg
PRICE
QUANTITY SUBTOTAL
ADULT (13+) $50.99 $0.00
YOUTH (6-12) $25.49 $0.00
UNDER 6 $0.00 $0.00
Total: $0.00

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Upcoming Events in the Hennage Auditorium Events

Apr 27
1:45 PM
God is My Rock
Gowan Pamphlet, a slave known locally as a popular preacher, offers his perspective on slavery, religion, and freedom.
Apr 28
11:30 AM
Dissenting Hymns in the 18th Century
Isaac Watts, Charles, John and Samuel Wesley, John Newton and Augustus Toplady all wrote hymns that became popular in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, but none of their works were allowed in Anglican worship services prior to 1784. Join John Turner as he shares hymns that were considered popular music in the 18th century and were sung everywhere but in the established Church of England.
Apr 28
1:45 PM
Meet a Nation Builder
It takes more than stirring words and hard-fought battles to build a nation. It takes farmers, merchants, builders, teachers, craftsmen, laborers, and more. Meet one of America's unsung nation builders--one of the men and women, preachers and house servants, enslaved and free—who joined the historical giants to overthrow tyranny and establish a self-governing republic.
Apr 29
11:45 AM
The Pious Man’s Daughter, The Rebel’s Wife
Betsy Nicholas grew up in a very religious home with her father, Robert Carter Nicholas, and held God’s teaching in a high light. Find out how her upbringing prepared her for later becoming part of the Randolph family and how that affected her husband, children, and her own religious journey.
Apr 29
1:45 PM
Blesséd Be the Ties that Bind
How can a mother's faith survive when faced with the British occupation and news that her son is now a prisoner of war? Meet Jane Vobe, owner of the King's Arms Tavern, and learn how she finds the strength in the teachings of her slave Gowan, a Baptist preacher.
Apr 29
5:30 PM
Race and Christianity in Early Virginia
The 17th century was a critical time in the development and articulation of racial ideologies, including the idea that Africans and Indians were incapable of genuine Christian conversion. Join Rebecca Goetz, renowned author and Associate Professor of History at New York University, as she discusses how English Virginians used Christian rituals such as marriage and baptism to exclude first Indians and then Africans from the privileges enjoyed by English Christians—including freedom. The lecture is followed by signing of her book, "The Baptism of Early Virginia: How Christianity Created Race", available for purchase at the Museums store.
Apr 30
11:30 AM
Equiano Forum
Princes Without a Palace:
Tracing African Princes and Captives in Williamsburg
Explore the stories of captured African princes who negotiated their return to their homeland. Two film excerpts are featured in this overview of the Atlantic slave trade. "Slave Trade," is a Colonial Williamsburg production dramatizing an American family’s discussion about the profits and justification of slavery. “The Bloody Writing is for ever Torn,” was produced by the Omohundro Institute at the College of William and Mary and was filmed in in the Republic of Ghana. It traces the experiences of Africans moved from the interior to Elmina Castle on the coast, where they were detained before being loaded on slave ships. This program is part of Colonial Williamsburg's Equiano Forum on Early African American History and Culture which seeks to broaden the public knowledge about African and African American history and culture in Virginia and the Atlantic World during the American Revolutionary era.
Apr 30
1:45 PM
Meet a Nation Builder
It takes more than stirring words and hard-fought battles to build a nation. It takes farmers, merchants, builders, teachers, craftsmen, laborers, and more. Meet one of America's unsung nation builders--one of the men and women, preachers and house servants, enslaved and free—who joined the historical giants to overthrow tyranny and establish a self-governing republic.
May 1
11:30 AM
Music Then and Now
Nothing transports us back in time so vividly as music. In this authentic musical presentation, members of The Governor's Musick share how they bring 18th-century music to life using period and reproduction instruments, facsimile scores, journals, inventories, letters, and colonial newspapers.
May 1
1:45 PM
Meet a Nation Builder
It takes more than stirring words and hard-fought battles to build a nation. It takes farmers, merchants, builders, teachers, craftsmen, laborers, and more. Meet one of America's unsung nation builders--one of the men and women, preachers and house servants, enslaved and free—who joined the historical giants to overthrow tyranny and establish a self-governing republic.
May 2
11:30 AM
Why Aren’t They Smiling?
A New Look at Civil War Photographs
Every photograph tells a story. Join historian Carson Hudson as he examines interesting and unusual wartime photographs, sharing the stories behind the emerging photographic moment and the myths surrounding Civil War images.
May 2
1:45 PM
Meet a Nation Builder
It takes more than stirring words and hard-fought battles to build a nation. It takes farmers, merchants, builders, teachers, craftsmen, laborers, and more. Meet one of America's unsung nation builders--one of the men and women, preachers and house servants, enslaved and free—who joined the historical giants to overthrow tyranny and establish a self-governing republic.
May 2
4:00 PM
Yankees in the Streets:
Williamsburg during the Civil War
Williamsburg is known for its 18th-century history, but what happened here during the Civil War? Join historian and author Carson Hudson for an illustrated lecture on a different aspect of Williamsburg's history. Learn about the Battle of Williamsburg, which took place on May 5, 1862. Book signing to follow.
May 3
1:45 PM
Meet a Nation Builder
It takes more than stirring words and hard-fought battles to build a nation. It takes farmers, merchants, builders, teachers, craftsmen, laborers, and more. Meet one of America's unsung nation builders--one of the men and women, preachers and house servants, enslaved and free—who joined the historical giants to overthrow tyranny and establish a self-governing republic.
May 4
1:45 PM
God is My Rock
Gowan Pamphlet, a slave known locally as a popular preacher, offers his perspective on slavery, religion, and freedom.
May 4
4:00 PM
Yankees in the Streets:
Williamsburg during the Civil War
Williamsburg is known for its 18th-century history, but what happened here during the Civil War? Join historian and author Carson Hudson for an illustrated lecture on a different aspect of Williamsburg's history. Learn about the Battle of Williamsburg, which took place on May 5, 1862. Book signing to follow.

Upcoming Events in the Art Museums Events

Apr 27
11:00 AM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Embark on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Apr 27
12:00 PM
Introduction To Folk Art
Discover whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, and textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller's collection on this guided tour. These pieces are the basis of the museum's original collection.
Apr 27
1:00 PM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Embark on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Apr 27
2:00 PM
Behind Closed Drawers
Drop in to get a close look at "Textiles of the Early South." Then, peer into the textile study drawers and examine additional clothing and needlework from Colonial Williamsburg's collections.
Apr 27
2:00 PM
Introduction To Folk Art
Discover whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, and textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller's collection on this guided tour. These pieces are the basis of the museum's original collection.
Apr 27
2:15 PM
Portraits with a Past
Join us for a guided museum tour and explore what portraits can tell us about the past. Learn the stories behind the faces and places hanging on our walls. Who were the patrons, and why were their portraits painted? What else can we learn from clues in the paintings?
Apr 27
2:30 PM
Meet the Curator/Conservator
In a single day, a curator or conservator will wear many hats. Learn about this unique occupation during a walk and talk with a member of the staff that researches and cares for antiques in our museums.
Apr 27
3:30 PM
Portraits with a Past
Join us for a guided museum tour and explore what portraits can tell us about the past. Learn the stories behind the faces and places hanging on our walls. Who were the patrons, and why were their portraits painted? What else can we learn from clues in the paintings?
Apr 28
10:30 AM
Young Explorers
Become a young explorer! Discover the natural history that inspired our forefathers in the 18th century through a gallery tour and drawing activity.
Apr 28
11:00 AM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Embark on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Apr 28
12:00 PM
Introduction To Folk Art
Discover whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, and textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller's collection on this guided tour. These pieces are the basis of the museum's original collection.
Apr 28
1:00 PM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Embark on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Apr 28
2:00 PM
Introduction To Folk Art
Discover whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, and textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller's collection on this guided tour. These pieces are the basis of the museum's original collection.
Apr 28
2:15 PM
Focus on Furniture
You may be surprised to find that many of today's home furnishings are deeply tied to those of the past. Take an in-depth guided tour of 18th- and early-19th-century furniture. You'll see rare baroque, rococo, and neo-classical tables, chairs, chests, and desks that set the fashions we continue to enjoy.
Apr 28
3:30 PM
Focus on Furniture
You may be surprised to find that many of today's home furnishings are deeply tied to those of the past. Take an in-depth guided tour of 18th- and early-19th-century furniture. You'll see rare baroque, rococo, and neo-classical tables, chairs, chests, and desks that set the fashions we continue to enjoy.
Apr 29
10:30 AM
Wild, Weird, Wonderful
Have you ever looked in a museum display case and wondered, "What in the world is that?" Or, "Why would a museum display that piece?" Now's your chance to take a guided tour and find out why and how some very unusual pieces have made their way into Colonial Williamsburg's museum displays.
Apr 29
11:00 AM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Embark on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Apr 29
12:00 PM
Introduction To Folk Art
Discover whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, and textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller's collection on this guided tour. These pieces are the basis of the museum's original collection.
Apr 29
1:00 PM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Embark on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Apr 29
2:00 PM
Introduction To Folk Art
Discover whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, and textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller's collection on this guided tour. These pieces are the basis of the museum's original collection.
Handicap AccessibilityFully wheelchair accessible via ramp in fenced area at the west side of the Public Hospital of 1773 building. Passenger drop off and limited parking is accessible by way of the gravel drive off South Henry Street.
Five front entrance steps with railing; passenger elevators; wheelchair accessible restrooms. Additional handicapped parking is behind the building, off Nassau Street.