Sunday, August 16, 2015

Williamsburg 2015

We just got back from our trip to Colonial Williamsburg. The weather was hot and humid as usual for this time of year.  In addition to joining the Colonial Army, we visited the cabinet maker and the DeWitt Gallery.

The cabinet maker is working on a harpsichord, to be used in Colonial Williamsburg.  This piece has taken over six months to make and it still needs more work before it's finished.

All furniture is crafted exactly as it would have been in the 18th century.  There are no power tools in the shop and any intricate detail work must be carved by hand.

The DeWitt Gallery is a museum housing paintings, furnishings,decorative items, clothing, books and letters from the 18th century.

This watercolor paint box caught my eye as I walked through the gallery.

 I was fortunate enough to find one of my favorite paintings from this era on display. Washington and Lafayette At The Battle Of Yorktown by Reuben Law Reed.  The painting is oil and gold paint on canvas. The Battle of Yorktown was the single most decisive battle of the Revolutionary War. The Marquis de Lafayette convinced Admiral De Grasse to delay sailing to the West Indies and to block off the entrance to Yorktown with his fleet. General Cornwallis was cut off and ultimately surrendered. Several months later America and Britain entered into peace negations.

 My family and friends know how much I love "my dear Marquis" (he was a hero in both the American and French Revolutions).  My kids would always roll their eyes as I proudly described how it was the Marquis de Lafayette who helped America gain her independence. When my family saw  this painting they quickly moved past it, in an effort to avoid the annual lecture on "my dear Marquis."

Washington and Lafayette at Yorktown

This year the gallery added a Doll House exhibit.  On display were several doll houses from the 18th century.  The focal point of the display was a massive, elaborately decorated Colonial doll house.  I took a photo with my husband who is 6'4" standing beside the house, to give you an idea of the scale of the piece.

Colonial Doll House

Furnished Rooms in the Doll House.
The DeWitt Gallery offers two floors of interesting exhibits, some of them are interactive.  When the mid-day heat becomes too much, try some of the indoor exhibits, like the DeWitt Gallery, the Capitol or the Governor's Palace.