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.

carter house
Architectural Clues to 18th-Century Williamsburg

Explore architectural elements from both surviving and demolished 18th- and early-19th-century buildings in the Historic Area.

Century of Quilts
A Century of African-American Quilts

This exhibit showcases eleven colorful and stunning quilts, half of which have never before been seen by the public, spanning more than a century after 1875.

Dollhouse for World Made Small
The World Made Small

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

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.

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.

Previous Next

event icon Buy Admission Tickets

Explore all the Colonial Williamsburg historic sites and trade shops, including our two art museums, and enjoy the convenience of our complimentary shuttle service for three consecutive days from your first date of use.

Your Multi-day Ticket includes:

  • 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 for three (3) consecutive days from first date of use.
  • Seasonal discounts on additional evening programs, tours and carriage rides

Need to Know

  • Your voucher must be exchanged for a ticket at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.
  • 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

Add to Cart Processing Request...
Upgrade
Do you want to upgrade?
What is your Arrival Date?
Multi-day Tickets require an arrival date to purchase

Upcoming Events in the Hennage Auditorium Events

Aug 25
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 in this overview of the Atlantic slave trade. Featured film clips include portions of "The Slave Trade," a Colonial Williamsburg production, dramatizing a white American family’s discussion about the profits and justification of slavery; and “The Bloody Writing is for ever Torn,” produced by the Omohundro Institute at the College of William and Mary and filmed in Ghana, tracing the experiences of captive Africans from the interior who were detained on the coast before being loaded onto slave ships. Colonial Williamsburg's Equiano Forum on Early African American History and Culture seeks to broaden public knowledge about African and African Americans in Virginia and the Atlantic World during the Revolutionary era.
Aug 26
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?
Aug 26
1:15 PM
Educating Thomas Jefferson: Philosophy, Law and an Enlightened Mind
Thomas Jefferson, as both a young man and president, reminisces about his education, the study of law, and the Enlightenment.
Aug 27
1:15 PM
Wild History
Revolutions and wildlife come together in this special hands-on presentation for children. Learn about the animals of America and their connection to early American ideals and views, and join in hands-on activities for the whole family.
Aug 29
1:15 PM
Lafayette in Two Worlds
The Marquis de Lafayette came to America to help fight for our independence in 1777. As a Major-General, Lafayette would take part in many of the most important battles including the siege of Yorktown in 1781. Lafayette returned to France after the war was over and a few short years later a new revolution was brewing; the French Revolution of 1789. Come and meet Lafayette in 1802 as he talks about his experiences in both Revolutions. What failed and what succeeded in this time in history as they strive for "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!"
Aug 30
1:15 PM
Children Broken by War
Explore the inner working of community matriarch Edith Cumbo as she uses her "Mother Wit" to provocatively enliven and engage children and families who are broken by the war. Watch them participate with her as she carefully uses her little audience to spin her interactive games, proverbs, work songs, and tales to forge a collective and universal bond.
Aug 30
4:30 PM
Scotland’s Influence on America’s Music
Scotland's traditional music was popular in 18th-century America. Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry played and danced to Scottish fiddle tunes. George Washington and family were also fond of the songs of Robert Burns, who around the time of the American Revolution, was one of the most popular poets in America. Join Master Fiddler John Turner for an hour of tunes and stories about Scottish traditions and how they made their way into American culture.
Aug 31
1:15 PM
Becoming Mrs Washington
It's 1759 in Mount Vernon. Meet the newly-married Martha Custis Washington arriving at her new home for the first time since marrying Colonel George Washington. Upon entering the "bachelor's house" she is taken aback at the amount of work to be done in order to make it a home. Reflecting on her life before becoming Mrs Washington, she questions whether she will be able to create a home for her new family without forgetting her past.
Sep 1
4:30 PM
Say 'Cheese,' Mr. President
In the 21st Century we are bombarded with photographs of the President and candidates. But how were earlier chief executives and their rivals viewed? Who was the first president to be photographed? Join historian Carson Hudson as he looks at the earliest presidential photography.
Sep 2
1:15 PM
Meet a Nation Builder
It takes more than stirring words and hard-fought battles to build a nation. It also takes farmers, merchants, 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 well-known historical figures to overthrow tyranny and establish a self-governing republic.
Sep 2
4:00 PM
From Lexington to Yorktown: Battles of the Revolutionary War
In this lecture, author Tony Williams will explore the military history of several major battles of the American Revolution and examine the strategic and political impact of the battles on the outcome of the war. For more information on this subject, visit the exhibition "We Are One: Mapping the Road from Revolution to Independence."
Sep 3
1:15 PM
Fighting for the Rights of Mankind
Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, tells you of his experiences during the French Revolution and his unwavering support, even unto death, for the rights of humankind. 
Sep 3
4:30 PM
Hard Times: Songs of the Working Life
Cap off your afternoon with a concert celebrating workers and working. The members of Henleys Fork promise tight harmonies and hot instrumentals that span the 18th through the 20th centuries. Williamsburg musicians Doug Austin, Brian Forsman, and Barry and Lynn Trott always delight audiences with their songs and stories. They perform on a variety of instruments, including fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and bass.
Sep 4
1:15 PM
The Art of Politics and Dining
Martha Washington is remembered as one of the most amiable and generous hostesses of her time. Join the young Martha Washington as she prepares her table for entertaining and explore how the role of hostess is a particularly political role.
Sep 5
1:15 PM
A Change is Coming
Gowan Pamphlet discusses his hopes and dreams for dissenters. Will this begin a war for religious freedom and against the Church of England?
Sep 7
11:15 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?

Upcoming Events in the Art Museums Events

Aug 25
10:00 AM
Exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum - Cross Rhythms: Folk Musical Instruments, Sidewalks to Rooftops: Outdoor Folk Art, American Ship Paintings, Down on the Farm (a child-friendly animal-themed exhibition), Last Day Open, Sept 5 - Thunderbirds: Jewelry of the Santo Domingo Pueblo, Conserving the Carolina Room, Color and Shape: The Art of the American Theorem,  A Century of African-American Quilts  ----- DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum - Richard Newsham's Fire Engine, Lock, Stock and Barrel: Early Firearms from the Colonial Williamsburg Collection, Rebuilding Charlton's Coffeehouse, China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, Silver from Mine to Masterpiece, A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South, Revolution in Taste, Early Southern Textiles, American Furniture: From Virginia to Vermont, Birds, Bugs and Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century, The World Made Small (dollhouses and toys), Changing Keys: Keyboard Instruments for America 1700-1830, We Are One: Mapping the Road to American Independence, Architectural Clues to 18th-Century Williamsburg.
Aug 25
11:00 AM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Explore and learn on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View the impressive collection of paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Aug 25
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.
Aug 25
1:00 PM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Explore and learn on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View the impressive collection of paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Aug 25
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.
Aug 25
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 today.
Aug 25
2:30 PM
Music in the Museums
Enjoy live period music played on antique or reproduction instruments as you browse the galleries of the museums. During this self-paced tour, a member of the Governor's Musick will provide a melodic background with music from the period.
Aug 25
2:45 PM
That’s How Old?
How do humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors affect the condition of objects? What can museum conservators do to keep priceless objects safe and looking their best? Learn the answers on this guided tour and discover the methods and materials used to help protect the paintings, textiles, furniture, glassware, metalware, and other items in Colonial Williamsburg's collections.
Aug 25
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 today.
Aug 26
10:00 AM
Exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum - Cross Rhythms: Folk Musical Instruments, Sidewalks to Rooftops: Outdoor Folk Art, American Ship Paintings, Down on the Farm (a child-friendly animal-themed exhibition), Last Day Open, Sept 5 - Thunderbirds: Jewelry of the Santo Domingo Pueblo, Conserving the Carolina Room, Color and Shape: The Art of the American Theorem,  A Century of African-American Quilts  ----- DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum - Richard Newsham's Fire Engine, Lock, Stock and Barrel: Early Firearms from the Colonial Williamsburg Collection, Rebuilding Charlton's Coffeehouse, China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, Silver from Mine to Masterpiece, A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South, Revolution in Taste, Early Southern Textiles, American Furniture: From Virginia to Vermont, Birds, Bugs and Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century, The World Made Small (dollhouses and toys), Changing Keys: Keyboard Instruments for America 1700-1830, We Are One: Mapping the Road to American Independence, Architectural Clues to 18th-Century Williamsburg.
Aug 26
10:30 AM
Century of African American Quilts
Explore the exhibit of African American quilts with a guided tour. Learn about a century of quilt styles and techniques. Discover the unique stories of these ordinary people who were extraordinary quilt-makers.
Aug 26
11:00 AM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Explore and learn on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View the impressive collection of paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Aug 26
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.
Aug 26
1:00 PM
Decorative Arts Highlights
Explore and learn on a guided tour of some of the museum's masterworks on exhibit. View the impressive collection of paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and silver.
Aug 26
1:30 PM
Ceramics Up-Close
What sort of dishes did our colonial ancestors buy? Where did the ceramics come from and how were they used? Join the conversation on a guided tour, then drop in for a behind-the-scenes view of the museum's ceramic storage vault.
Aug 26
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.
Aug 26
3:30 PM
A Cabinet of Curiosities
What kinds of things do you collect? Explore the world of 18th-century collectors and learn about the rare things they amassed. Then illustrate your treasures with a watercolor painting.
Aug 26
4:00 PM
Meet the Curator/Conservator
In a single day, a curator or conservator will wear many hats. Discover more about this fascinating profession as you walk and talk with a member of the staff that researches and cares for the objects in our museums.
Aug 27
10:00 AM
Exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum - Cross Rhythms: Folk Musical Instruments, Sidewalks to Rooftops: Outdoor Folk Art, American Ship Paintings, Down on the Farm (a child-friendly animal-themed exhibition), Last Day Open, Sept 5 - Thunderbirds: Jewelry of the Santo Domingo Pueblo, Conserving the Carolina Room, Color and Shape: The Art of the American Theorem,  A Century of African-American Quilts  ----- DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum - Richard Newsham's Fire Engine, Lock, Stock and Barrel: Early Firearms from the Colonial Williamsburg Collection, Rebuilding Charlton's Coffeehouse, China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, Silver from Mine to Masterpiece, A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South, Revolution in Taste, Early Southern Textiles, American Furniture: From Virginia to Vermont, Birds, Bugs and Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century, The World Made Small (dollhouses and toys), Changing Keys: Keyboard Instruments for America 1700-1830, We Are One: Mapping the Road to American Independence, Architectural Clues to 18th-Century Williamsburg.
Aug 27
10:30 AM
Mapping the Declaration of Independence
Referencing maps and other museum objects, this guided tour will show you the Declaration of Independence as you've never seen it before.
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.