DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum
The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, features American and British furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, firearms, and textiles from the 17th to the 19th century. It also has the largest collection of Southern furniture and one of the largest collections of British ceramics outside of England.
To complement the collections, the museum educates the public through lectures and musical events. There is also a portrait gallery on the premises, allowing visitors to put faces to the luxurious lifestyles demonstrated by the collections. The museum opened in 1985 and was named after DeWitt Wallace, a co-founder of Reader’s Digest magazine. You can purchase a Colonial Williamsburg attraction pass to gain admission to the historic sites and trade shops plus the museum. Various guided tours are offered throughout the week.
Things to know before you go
- The outdoor areas of Colonial Williamsburg are wheelchair-accessible, but keep in mind that some of the historic buildings have steep, narrow steps. The museum does have elevators.
- Colonial Williamsburg is part of Virginia's Historic Triangle, which also includes Jamestown and Yorktown.
- Wear comfortable shoes, and it’s recommended to dress in layers.
- There is a museum gift shop and a cafe.
How to get there
The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum is part of Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, located between Richmond and Virginia Beach. It’s about a 2.5-hour drive from Washington DC. It’s also accessible via Amtrak, with the nearest stop being the Williamsburg Transportation Center. Within Colonial Williamsburg, you can hop a shuttle that makes stops at major sites including the museum.
When to get there
The museum is open throughout the year, and hosts special tours and programs—including a chance for visitors to examine antique clothing, accessories, and household textiles from the collections. July 4th proves to be a popular time to visit. This is when Colonial Williamsburg offers a day filled with patriotic festivities, such as readings of the Declaration of Independence, musical performances, and a fireworks show.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
Dedicated to American folk art, this museum owes the majority of its collection to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, who donated her folk art to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1939; the museum officially opened in 1957. Inside, visitors can browse paintings, sculptures, and other objects such as hooked rugs and pottery.
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