The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum houses a variety of the "finer things," including the world's largest collection of southern furniture and one of the largest collections of British ceramics outside England. Relax in the Portrait Gallery, attend a lecture or musical event in the Hennage Auditorium, or take part in a hands-on activity in the Education Studio.
Opened in 1985, the 15 galleries display furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, firearms, and textiles from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Thinking about having a tea party? See how those with wealth and influence dined when you peer into the nationally important holdings of English silver.
If you missed the Public Hospital of 1773 on your way in, be sure to stop on your way out.
When most people look at furniture, they admire the craftsmanship of the cabinetmaker. But the look and function of seating furniture often hinged on the talent of another trade – that of the upholsterer.
In today’s world it is hard to imagine a time when posing for the camera was not an option. Americans over 200 years ago were no less interested in having their picture made, but it required more work. Yet as America explored its freedom and adjusted to its status as a new nation, people wanted to express themselves and artists were there to help them out.
Celebrate the remarkable diverse objects that represent a unique, early southern style.Learn More
Resembling a tricked-out coffin on four wheels, Colonial Williamsburg’s original 18th-century fire engine is one flaming-hot antique! This piece is so important to early American history that is part of a rare “stand alone” exhibit, and has been reproduced not once, but twice for actual use in the Historic Area. Richard Newsham’s Fire Engine uses the display of this magnificent machine to explore fire and early fire-fighting techniques.Learn More
Discover how archaeological, architectural, archival, decorative arts, and trades components contributed to the process of rebuilding the history, structure, and interiors of the coffeehouse.Learn More
This exhibition dazzles with rich and colorful choices in table and tea wares available to 18th-century British and American consumers.Learn More