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.

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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

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Upcoming Events in the Hennage Auditorium Events

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?
Sep 7
1:15 PM
Our Founding Documents: A Founding Father's Perspective
Where did our nation's Founders get their ideas? George Wythe the influence and inspiration of Enlightenment philosophy that is the basis of the United States government. 
Sep 7
4:30 PM
What is a Family?
Discover the ties that bind us together in this moving program by Valarie Holmes. Explore the situation of Ann Ashby and her children, who escape the bonds of slavery through the courageous efforts of Ann's free black husband. Learn about the legal and social challenges the enslaved and free blacks in colonial Virginia faced, as they sought to keep family together.
Sep 8
11:15 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.
Sep 8
1:15 PM
A Difference of Opinion
Many of the founders warned against "factions," meaning political parties. With America more divided than ever, two Founders conspire and collaborate to form America's first opposition party. Will their action prove a blessing or a curse? Can political parties embody the spirit of '76? Can there be a difference of opinion while maintaining unity in principle? 
Sep 8
4:00 PM
It Starts Here: America’s Enduring Debates
Join us for a series of lively election-season debates, featuring Nation Builders wrestling with 18th-century issues that sound a lot like those of today. Each week features a different topic. Participate in the discussion with two Nation Builders, a historian, and other citizens.

Upcoming Events in the Art Museums Events

Aug 30
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 30
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 30
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 30
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 30
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 30
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 30
3:30 PM
Creature Crafternoon
Drop in and create a work of art inspired by the creatures on view in "Birds, Bugs & Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century."
Aug 30
3:30 PM
Creature Crafternoon
Drop in and create a work of art inspired by the creatures on view in "Birds, Bugs & Blooms: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century."
Aug 30
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 30
5:00 PM
Busting Myths!
Was the pineapple the symbol of 18th-century hospitality? Were quilts used as a symbol on the Underground Railroad? Were people shorter back then? Learn to discern truth, myth and reality on this guided tour.
Aug 31
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 31
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 31
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 31
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 31
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 31
3:00 PM
Mapping Revolution to Republic
You will be amazed at what you can learn from maps about the Revolutionary War in this guided tour. Join us as we discuss how the new Republic was established, and the critical role played by printed maps.
Aug 31
4:30 PM
An Art Museum Mystery
Theft! Murder! At the ... museum? Join the team to solve fictitious crimes including a suspicious murder and an attempted theft of an unusual object. Collaborate with special investigators and explore the museum to find clues and interview suspects. Can you solve the mystery?
Sep 1
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.
Sep 1
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.
Sep 1
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.