As part of a year-long, 60th anniversary celebration of the oldest, continuously operating museum in the country dedicated to American folk art, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (AARFAM), one of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, will hold a day of festivities at the museum on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Filled with special programs, the day will be highlighted by a talk by famed “Antiques Roadshow” Appraiser Ken Farmer.
“For over six decades, Williamsburg has been home to the country’s finest collection of American folk art. It is most fitting that we celebrate this milestone anniversary with our many local friends and neighbors as well as visitors from afar,” said Laura Pass Barry, Juli Grainger curator of paintings, drawings and sculpture.
The schedule of special events, all of which will take place at the museum (located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Virginia, and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773) include:
- “Toys!,” a program in which visitors will explore 19th- and early 20th-century toys, dolls and dollhouses from the AARFAM collection on view in German Toys in America and A World Made Small. Following the tour, visitors can drop in and make a toy inspired by the antique toys seen in the exhibits. (10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.)
- “All Creatures Great and Small: Folk Songs about Animals for Kids and Families,” a lively show of folk songs and tunes about the animal kingdom performed on fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass performed by the group Henley Fork (Doug Austin, Brian Forsman, and Lynn and Barry Trott). Visitors can sing along to some old favorites and soon-to-be favorites as well. (30 minutes, 11:30 a.m.)
- “Mrs. Rockefeller’s Art,” a guided tour in which participants will learn about the folk art that Abby Aldrich Rockefeller loved and collected to display in her Manhattan home. The connections to the modern art she also collected and displayed will be discussed as well. (Approximately 45 minutes and offered at Noon and 2 p.m.)
- “Three Centuries of Folk Music,” a musical journey with Henley Fork through folk songs and tunes from the 18th century to the present in celebration of AARFAM’s 60th anniversary. Visitors will enjoy some of the tunes that America has sung and played for the past 300 years on fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass. (One hour, 3 p.m.)
- “Tales from the Road and Folk Art,” a talk by Ken Farmer, antiques appraiser, in which he will discuss his experiences on PBS's “Antiques Roadshow” as a folk art expert, how the popular television show got its start and what some of its highlights have been. Throughout the talk, Farmer will discuss what folk art is and how perceptions about it are changing as enthusiasts are collecting at every level. (Hennage Auditorium, 5 p.m.)
In addition to the special tours, musical performances and talks, visitors to the museum will also be able to see We the People: American Folk Portraits, which opens on May 6; A Century of African-American Quilts, which opened in January 2016 and features two quilts added to the exhibition earlier this year; From Forge and Furnace: A Celebration of Early American Iron, which opened last fall; and other folk art works on permanent display in the AARFAM galleries. All tours, family craft and musical programs are included in the price of admission to the Art Museums. “Tales from the Road and Folk Art” costs $5 in addition to the regular admission price. Admission to the Art Museums is included in the following Colonial Williamsburg tickets: Single-day Ticket, Multi-day Ticket, Annual Pass, Hotel Guest Pass and Good Neighbor Annual Pass; Art Museums Single-Day Tickets are available at $12.99 for adults and $6.49 for youths (ages 6-12).
For those considering a visit to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum for the first time as well as those who are frequent visitors, June 3 will be an ideal time to go and see some of the many diverse treasures in this world-class collection and celebrate the museum’s 60th anniversary.
About the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 7,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American fine and decorative arts from 1670–1840. The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Expansion of the museum broke ground on April 27, 2017. Once completed, the museums’ new entrance will provide improved public access, increased exhibition space and guest services among other enhancements. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.
About The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Colonial Williamsburg operates the world’s largest living history museum, preserving Virginia’s 18th-century capital as a fully functioning city. Fun, engaging experiences transport guests back in time and highlight the relevance of America’s founding era to contemporary life. The Colonial Williamsburg experience includes more than 500 restored or reconstructed buildings, historic trade shops, renowned museums of decorative arts and folk art, extensive educational outreach programs for students and teachers, lodging, culinary options from historic taverns to casual or elegant dining, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club featuring 45 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and his son Rees Jones, a full-service spa and fitness center managed by Trilogy Spa, pools, retail stores and gardens. Philanthropic support and revenue from admissions, products and hospitality operations sustain Colonial Williamsburg’s educational programs and preservation initiatives.
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