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

Jul 25
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!"
Jul 26
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.
Jul 26
4:30 PM
The Irish Session: A Living Musical Tradition
Kelly Kennedy and friend share lively dance tunes and haunting songs from centuries of Irish traditional music sessions. Enjoy singing along and stomping your feet to old and new reels, jigs, and ballads, from the shores of Donegal to Irish-American communities across America.
Jul 27
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.
Jul 27
4:30 PM
To Be Seen as an American
Meet three black women who didn't accept society's limits on what they could accomplish. Lydia rose from slave to entrepreneur; Katie Marie was educated but lacked resources; Clara Byrd Baker fought for equal rights in the 20th century. The work of these Williamsburg women spanned three centuries, opening doors and providing new opportunities for the next generation to build on.
Jul 28
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.
Jul 28
5:00 PM
Murder or Misfortune? The Tragic Death of Robert Routledge
In June 1766, Virginia merchant Robert Routledge was stabbed in public by Colonel John Chiswell. Or was he? Was it murder or was it a tragic misfortune? Join historian Carson Hudson for an interactive recreation of the most controversial crime in 18th-century Virginia.
Jul 29
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?
Jul 29
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.
Jul 30
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 1
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 2
11:15 AM
From Revolution to Restoration
What happened in Williamsburg after the Revolution? Discover how the town survived hard times until it was restored to its former glory in the early 20th century. Program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Architectural Clues to 18th-Century Williamsburg." 
Aug 2
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 2
4:30 PM
Age of Sail
Join us for an Age of Sail-themed concert with Colonial Williamsburg's Balladeer Kent LaRue and Emmy-winning composer and violinist Wayne Hill. Instrumental and vocal selections are included from the golden age of piracy through the Napoleonic Wars, with tunes from the War of 1812.
Aug 3
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.
Aug 3
4:30 PM
What is a Family?
The concept of family is as old as humankind, but its social and legal definition has changed over the years. 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 efforts of Ann's free black husband, the family is reunited in freedom. Learn about the legal and social challenges slaves and free blacks faced in colonial Virginia as they sought to keep family together.

Upcoming Events in the Art Museums Events

Jul 24
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.
Jul 24
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.
Jul 24
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.
Jul 24
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.
Jul 24
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.
Jul 24
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.
Jul 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.
Jul 25
10:30 AM
By George!
You can learn a lot about a person from the things they own. Discover what you can learn about George Washington from objects associated with or owned by him.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 25
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.
Jul 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.
Jul 25
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.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 26
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.
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.