With the Labor Day weekend now behind us and kids off to school, Summer is now officially getting ready to come to a close. If you are like me, right now you are saying to yourself, “Summer? What summer?” I feel like this past summer was a total blur as I continue my quest to find a happy balance between a full-time career in public relations and a full house with an growing eight month old baby, a fourteen year old starting high school, a husband with a busy schedule and three elderly dogs. By the time August rolled around, I was ready to pull my hair out of my head and start screaming like that woman in the commercial… “Calgon!! Take me away!!!”
Luckily, the Mr. planned a secret getaway weekend for just us in Colonial Williamsburg before I went totally insane. We stayed at The Cedars B&B, which is conveniently located in the heart of everything and is right across the street from the historic William and Mary College campus. Dr. Henderson built the brick colonial in 1933 out of historic bricks from a demolished building on the college campus. It became a bed and breakfast just two years later in 1935.
The next morning, as we finished our breakfast, the B&B owner asked us if we wanted to do an impromptu photoshoot in the back garden (which apparently he does with all his guests). Now, if you stay at The Cedars, you may want to have more coffee than we had prior to our “shoot”, but here were some outtakes from our modeling gig. And don’t worry…you get to take the photos with you before you pack up and go.
I’ve lived in Richmond, VA for a very long time now and Colonial Williamsburg is just about forty-five minutes southeast from me. In all of that time, I really can’t believe that I’ve never visited the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum until now. What a treat! If you have never been and you’re a fan of early American folk art, then you too are missing out! Here are just some of the highlights…
Admission to the museum is just $12.95 per person…which gets you access to both museums, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Prior to being an art museum, this building was actually the first hospital for the insane in America. Hmmm….maybe the Mr. had an ulterior motive with our trip after all? Maybe he was trying to tell me something…
The collection of early American Folk portraits is quite impressive. I would say it takes up a good portion of the gallery’s collection. The collection focus on the period of 1700-1850. Here are just a few of my favorites. The handmade frames alone where drool worthy…
Besides portraits, the gallery offers a unique collection of wood carvings that include whirly gigs, carousel carvings, weathervanes and early advertising displays.
Now through November 30, 2014, there is a small display of Tramp Art in the David and Mary Peebles Gallery. I’m a HUGE fan of tramp art…and I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed at how thin this collection was. So if you go to the museum expecting to see a large variety of tramp art pieces, you might wonder, “Where’s the rest?” What they did have was this amazing 6 foot tall tramp art mirror…it was mammoth in size. Imagine how long it took someone to carve all those tiny pieces!!
In the portrait gallery was this amazing wooden carved portrait of a little girl. The folds in her dress seemed so real, so life-like, it was as if she would start moving. The Mr. was a little creeped out by her, but I thought she was adorable!
Besides art on the walls, this room featured actual walls removed from an early American home and reconstructed in the museum. The detail and original faux finishing on the mantel was jaw dropping.
Down on the Farm is an exhibit just for the kiddies that explores folk art and animal life. Children can even create their own drawings and hang them on a designated area of the gallery wall.
How precious is this little wooden dog? Prince is a small wooden folk art sculpture created by a father for his two boys after their beloved doggie past away. I think Prince is quite the attraction at the museum…because you can purchase your own little stuffed version of this doggie in the downstairs gift shop.
And last but not least…look…at…this…crock!! This piece of folk art earthenware was created in Charles City, VA and stood at about 2.5 feet tall!! I have no idea how someone would actually fill this thing with water and use it…but how cool is that face? This is one of the many pieces within the collection that I stood and admired for a while.
Stay tuned next week to find out where we ended up next on our quick Williamsburg, VA adventure! To learn more about the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum or to purchase tickets, visit them online at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/do/art-museums/rockefeller-museum/.
EVENT UPDATE! Antiques Roadshow appraiser, Ken Farmer, in Richmond, VA!
Don’t miss Ken Farmer, this Saturday, September 6th, at the Virginia Historical Society! Information about this event is here: www.vahistorical.org/attend-event/programs-and-activities/social-events/collector’s-eye-value-southern-treasures
Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.