Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is the oldest museum in the United States that is solely devoted to collecting and displaying American folk art. Visitors will be immersed in the 18th, 19th and 20th century pieces in the collection that features more than 4,000 objects.



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History:

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is a part of the larger historical experience known as Colonial Williamsburg. For 81 years, Williamsburg, Virginia was one of the most influential and powerful colonies in America. Today, Williamsburg is memorialized in an original and educational way – by restoring the historical buildings and immersing visitors in the time-period.

Current Exhibitions:

The Carolina Room: This exhibition features a modest home from 19th century North Carolina Decorative woodworking, intricate wallpaper, colorful marble, and polished stone are representative of the costly materials used during that time-period. This is an ongoing exhibition.

Down on the Farm: This exhibition follows the journey of a hand-carved wooden dog named Prince. Folk art is narrated with whimsical and rhyming storyline to tell how Prince goes on an adventure through a busy farm to find his missing cousin. This is an ongoing exhibition.

Color and Shape: The Art of the American Theorem: This exhibition features 11 colorful still life paintings which explore how different artists of the time used theorem painting to create their own unique view on the world. This exhibition is on display until January 2018.

We the People: American Folk Portraits: The ever-growing collection of folk art portraits is a beloved part of the Museum’s exhibitions. These folk portraits capture the lives of people who shaped American history and life as we know it. Newly acquired pieces and museum favorites will be on display and accompany the “introduction to folk art” program and “folk art Fridays”.

German Toys in America: During the 19th-century, more than 2/3 of toys in America were made in Germany. This exhibition features the popular and rare toys that made childhood in America during that time very special.

The World Made Small: This exhibition features a 15-foot long dollhouse from the early 1900’s complete with 11 unbelievably detailed rooms with intricate miniature furniture. There is a daily tour which explores many more elaborate dollhouses on display.

From Forge and Furnace: A Celebration of Early American Iron: This exhibition is a celebration of cast iron artwork. Everything from stoves to hinges were crafted with intricate embellishments and these attractive yet functional pieces were very popular during the 19th century.

A Century of African-American Quilts: This exhibition features 12 quilts from the African-American community during the 19th century. Bold colors and stunning designs are sure to delight visitors. Some of these quilts haven’t even been seen in public before! This exhibit is not to be missed and is on display until May 2018.

American Ship Paintings: This exhibition features 5 paintings of ships from the mid 19th century. These portraits were commonly commissioned by sea captains to depict the glory of their beloved vessels. This is an ongoing exhibition.

Sidewalks to Rooftops: This exhibition allows visitors to experience what it was like to stroll the streets of 19th century America. This is an ongoing exhibition.

Cross Rhythms: Folk Musical Instruments: This exhibition displays a variety of musical instruments from the 19th and 20th centuries, including fiddles, banjos, and a piano that was built into a dresser.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

America’s Folk Art: The museum is currently celebrating its 60th birthday! This exhibition will begin on July 1, 2017 and celebrates Mrs. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and her years of collecting American Folk Art. A large variety of favorite pieces will be on display including portraits, sculptures, quilts, toys, and musical instruments.

Programs:

There are a variety of exciting and educational programs at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum including live performances, special tours, visiting lecturers, hands-on activities for children, and in-depth artist tours. The museum is proud to offer year-round family fun! Visit the calendar for more information on upcoming programs.

Because the museum is a part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, there are also a large variety of teaching resources and educational forums available for those who are interested.

Additional Information:

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, 326 West Francis Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185, website, Phone: 855-756-9516

Back to: Williamsburg, Virginia

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