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Colonial Williamsburg’s 73rd annual antiques forum is coming up soon, and it’s virtual too

Portrait of Daniel Trueheart (left), attributed to William Hodgson, Hanover County, Virginia, ca. 1794, gift of Mr. & Mrs. Bruce B. James, in memory of Margery Woodall James Fleet, 2019.100.2; Portrait of Mary Garland Trueheart, (right) attributed to William Hodgson, Hanover County, Virginia, ca. 1794 Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Bruce B. James, in memory of Margery Woodall James Fleet, 2019.100.2. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Colonial Williamsburg’s annual Antiques Forum is going virtual this upcoming year.

The forum will run Feb. 19-24, and its virtual platform will allow participants to learn and enjoy new exhibitions from the Art Museums from the comfort of their homes.

“This is a time of enormous challenge and sacrifice, and while we will miss gathering in-person for Antiques Forum, we’re grateful that modern technology can bring us together to safely study and celebrate the objects of our shared past,” Ronald L. Hurst, Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator and vice president for museums, preservation, and historic resources, said in a statement from a news release.

“We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces on-screen when we connect virtually to share new discoveries and make new memories,” he said.

Virtual tours will feature Katie McKinny, the Margaret Beck Pritchard Assistant Curator of Maps and Prints, leading a journey through “Promoting America: Maps of the Colonies and the New Republic,” and Tara Chicirda, curator of furniture, showcasing “Keeping Time: Tall Case Clocks.”

The virtual program features archived presentations and live-panel discussions, including some surprise guest speakers, according to the news release.

Guest presenters also include:

  • Grahame Long of the Historic Charleston Foundation and Gary Albert of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts co-presenting on John Gough, a free Black 18th-century cabinet maker in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Robert Leath, president of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, sharing groundbreaking discoveries on the Payne Limner, a set of 10 18th-century portraits by a previously unidentified artist depicting members of Virginia’s Payne family.
  • Annabel Westman, executive director of the Attingham Trust, examining the usage and design of trimmings in historic homes from the 17th to early 20th centuries.
  • Christopher “Kit” Maxwell of the Corning Museum of Glass on glass in 18th-century Britain.
  • Lan Morgan from the Peabody Essex Museum, discussing a new exhibition in its Asian Export Art Gallery.

There will also be a presentation and update from Colonial Williamsburg Director of Archaeology Jack Gary from the field on excavations of Custis Square and First Baptist Church’s first permanent site on South Nassau Street.

The forum also includes presentations in continued partnership with the Carolyn and Michael McNamara Young Scholars Lectures sponsored by the Decorative bArts Trust.

Rachel Asbury Cole will discuss the global context of a Mexican dressing case while Andrew Mellon Curatorial Intern Scott Merrifield will present on plane-maker Cesar Chelor. There will also be a discussion on the connection between geography, education, and feminine virtue during the 18th and 19th centuries, given by Emily Wells. .

Program registration costs $175. This registration also includes all virtual lectures and demonstrations, plus a ticket voucher for a multi-day future visit to Colonial Williamsburg good through Dec. 31, 2021.

Scholarships are available with an application deadline of Jan. 6.

For more information about the forum and registration, visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Antiques Forum page here.

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