About the Museum
Installation view of Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home
Exterior View, Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Installation view of From Forge and Furnace: A Celebration of Early American Iron
Installation view of A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg house the distinctive collections of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum under one roof. The DeWitt Wallace’s 15 galleries feature the world’s largest collection of southern furniture; a superb array of paintings, glass, firearms, and textiles from the 17th to the 19th century; and the most extensive display of British ceramics outside England. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum was the world’s first dedicated folk art museum, and today boasts more than 7,000 works. Spanning painting, sculpture, needlework, furniture and pottery these holdings provide a uniquely rich insight into American material culture. Visitors to the Art Museums are encouraged to enter or exit via the historic Public Hospital of 1773, one of the first of its kind in America, and view its fascinating exhibits detailing 18th- and 19th-century treatments for mental illness.
(Photo: Courtesy of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg)