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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

May 6
11:30 AM
Equiano Forum
Secret Keepers: Literacy, Slavery, and the Law
Explore how a secret network of free blacks and slaves used the houses and properties in Williamsburg to hide runaway fugitives. Film excerpts from "The Runaway" dramatize the dangers of concealing fugitives, who used various methods to escape bondage. While laws supported the slave owners, what means did they have to break this chain of secrecy?
May 6
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 7
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.
May 7
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 7
5:30 PM
Fiddle Music of Colonial Virginia
Explore fiddle music of colonial Virginia and the coastal south with visiting scholar Nikos Pappas. Listen as the sounds of the backcountry come to life—including slave music that once echoed through the region. Here for a month-long research fellowship with Colonial Williamsburg’s John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Dr. Pappas is an emerging voice in the search for the musical life of the early American south.
May 8
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 8
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 9
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 10
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 10
4:00 PM
A Mother’s Difficult Choice
It's 1789. The war is over and the constitution ratified. A new government promises liberty and freedom for all. Yet, Miriam and Betsy consider what the future holds. What concerns this free black laundress and this white widow? What will their sons face as they navigate the apprenticeship system to learn a trade?
May 11
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 12
11:30 AM
America’s Music
Fiddle Music from Jamestown to Yorktown
What kind of music would the Jamestown settlers have enjoyed? What were Virginians listening to at the end of the Revolution? Take a walk through 174 years of music and history with David Gardner. The award-winning fiddler and music historian has an entertaining story to tell on a collection of historically appropriate instruments.
May 12
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 13
11:30 AM
Equiano Forum
Secret Keepers: Literacy, Slavery, and the Law
Explore how a secret network of free blacks and slaves used the houses and properties in Williamsburg to hide runaway fugitives. Film excerpts from "The Runaway" dramatize the dangers of concealing fugitives, who used various methods to escape bondage. While laws supported the slave owners, what means did they have to break this chain of secrecy?
May 13
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 14
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.

Upcoming Events in the Art Museums Events

May 6
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.
May 6
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.
May 6
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.
May 6
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.
May 6
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.
May 6
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?
May 6
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.
May 6
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?
May 7
10:30 AM
Music in the Museums
Enjoy live period music played on antique or reproduction instruments as you browse the galleries of the museums. A member of the Governor's Musick provides the melodic backdrop for your self-paced tour.
May 7
10:30 AM
History Witnesses
On a guided tour, examine objects that played a role in Williamsburg's history. What stories could the clockworks from the original Capitol building tell?
May 7
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.
May 7
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.
May 7
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.
May 7
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.
May 7
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.
May 7
3:00 PM
Moving
What influenced colonial settlers to move their homes from one place to another? How did they choose where to go? Discover some of the answers on this guided tour. Learn how museum objects can illustrate the migration stories of five families. Are their stories similar to those of your ancestors?
May 7
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.
May 8
10:30 AM
Celebrate Quilts!
Take a guided tour of the museum and discover the fascinating world of quilts. What can they tell us about the people who made them?
May 8
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.
May 8
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.
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.