Coming near the end of our trip there was one place I had been looking forward to visiting, the DeWitt Museum at Colonial Williamsburg. When I was last at Colonial Williamsburg I was so busy photographing the holiday wreaths, interiors and fashions that I ran out of time. I was determined to go there and had heard it was a museum that children would enjoy.
Indeed this was the case. One area of the museum is set up as a charming outdoor farm. Paintings featuring children and farms were incorporated into the layout of the design.
The “pond” features hand carved duck decoys and fish~ some over 200 years old.
A wall of weathervanes.
There is a wonderful outdoor folk art display to include (the now politically incorrect) cigar indians that were once used in advertising.
I myself loved the spectacles that long ago announced an optician’s profession.
There is also a lovely collection of folk art paintings such as “The Hansbury Sisters” circa 1840.
As well as the charming “Baby in Red Chair” painted sometime between 1810-1830.
There was a temporary exhibit (which I am sad to say has already closed) of quilts done in the Baltimore Style.
Lighting was kept to a minimum to protect the antique quilts and a dazzling light display could be found of popular quilt designs on the floors.
The color and attention to detail was superb. How I wished that my dear cousin L. had been with me. She is a true master of the needle and is currently working on a French boutis patterned quilt.
Another exhibit that is still going on that I HIGHLY recommend is “The Threads of Feeling Unraveled: The London Foundling Hospital’s Textile Tokens”. There is no photography allowed in this exhibit due to the very delicate nature of the ribbons, fabric and tokens featured, but the premise is this:
“When a mother left her infant at the Hospital during the mid-eighteenth century, she sometimes provided a token that was attached to the paper record, allowing her to later identify and reclaim her own child if her circumstances improved. Most of the tokens took the form of scraps of fabric, ribbons, or cuttings from the baby’s own clothing, identified in the record by their period names.”
Completely heartbreaking. The majority of the children left at the hospital were NEVER retrieved by their parents.
Then of course there were half a dozen rooms dedicated to stoneware, pottery, china, silver….such goodness! During this time Sweet Boy opted to take a seat on the leather chaise and open his book. :)
Don’t even get me started on the antique furniture collection!
Ok, get me started….look at this inlay!
This double chest of drawers was massive. It was created in Charleston around 1765-1775 (Before our country’s independence!). The wood is a combination of mahogany, bald cypress and tulip poplar. I cannot get over the carving.
By this time my little man had reached his limit so we left and stopped to view the adjoining exhibit of the “Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds". We quickly left as he did not like it all and said it made him feel sad and frightened. I agreed.
We decided we’d rather go out into a bright beautiful world.
Filled with glorious gardens.
Tended by men wearing breeches. What?
Oh Colonial Williamsburg how I love your beautiful homes…
Charming shops featuring hand painted signs…
Townsfolk wearing blue socks and playing games that keep with the time period.
Indeed there is 18th century realism to be found everywhere. Watch your step!
Charming friendly souls who are delighted to answer just how hot are they while wearing these garments with no air conditioning?
The garden shop with a delightful row of handmade baskets for purchase.
The perfect potager.
Ah I just love a man in uniform.
Better yet, the sun spectacles worn by another gentleman.
Three pretty maids in a row.
Still closer, because I wanted to know if indeed the sleeves were finished in a rolled hem, the edges of the dress ruffle were pinked and if the narrow trim was strips of fabric that had been hand braided. Glory be, yes, yes and yes!
A fetching chapeau.
I love the tilt of her hat.
As well as the delicate lace of her cap.
Because I had decided that on my next visit I will NOT be wearing this:
More to come on that subject later.