Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg in March, Day 4

Wednesday finally found all of our family together for the entire day, which of course meant colonial clothing all around. But more on that later.

Our visit to the historic area started with a public address by Patrick Henry who, although not on his top form, was nonetheless entertaining and educational.

It was a special treat to find Jane Hanson singing and playing the harpsichord in the Wythe House. Jane is performing the "A Lady and Her Music" program two more times in the month of March, and she does a wonderful job explaining lyrics and background for the songs she sings.

The afternoon found us at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum to enjoy their accessories exhibit and take advantage of the opportunity to peer into some of the drawers containing articles that aren't on public display. The frock coat and waistcoat shown above were on display, and showed such fine work that I had to share it with you.

Also at the museum were these glasses on display. Mine aren't exactly like these, but I'll keep trying to get as close as I can.

Here's an entertaining kerchief from the mid 19th century. The artist has depicted a typical day in the year 2000 as he imagines it will be. He's got the right idea that man will be relying on mechanization for transportation, but his extrapolation that horses will be all but extinct obviously goes a bit too far. You'll have to zoom in on this one to appreciate all the little statements and conversations included in this scene.

The herb and vegetable garden on Duke of Gloucester Street was growing nicely thanks to coldframes like this, and Virginia's mild climate.

A portion of the Fife and Drum Corps made an appearance in the afternoon, although our friend Thomas Baker was not in attendance. We'll continue to watch for Thomas the rest of the week.

The girls were dressed in variations on a fabric theme today, which I think makes a pretty picture.

Our big treat today was the arrival of the Madeira family! Because we were uncertain of when they would arrive, we planned on keeping a watch out through the two-hour window in which we expected them, while we continued our sightseeing around town. After a leisurely lunch, we stepped out on the sidewalk along Henry Street, and before we had walked 20 feet a car was honking at us as they pulled up beside us -- the Madeiras! They had just arrived in town, and the timing could not have been more providential.

As if their company was not enough, Rachel also honored us with a gift of her award-winning artwork! We were thrilled to receive such a beautiful, and meaningful gift, and humbled that Rachel would spend so much time working on this project. Unfortunately, the light for this photo doesn't do the painting justice, so you'll all just have to stop past our house to see it in person. Extra credit for those that recognize the subject for Rachel's work.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. I miss you all already! Thank you so much for a wonderful time in Williamsburg!

    I guess it would be cheating to guess the subject matter of the art piece, so I guess I'll just have to say we're going to have to take a trip out to IL to see the painting in better light!!!

    Love you all!

  2. Okay, where are the the three dull things? :) You all should get some sort of discount for doing such an excellent job of marketing Williamsburg.
    I really like your wife and daughters costumes. What excellent seamstresses!


    P.S. If you think Virginia has a mild climate, you should come visit us. We had to turn on the air conditioning yesterday!

  3. Rachel -- we're looking forward to the next time we can get together, either here, there, or in between!

    Victoria -- thank you for the costume compliment. I think Virginia's type of mild is about as warm as we care to be. Air conditioning in March seems a little early to me.

  4. It was so nice finally meeting Karen and Lily in person at the symposium! It's too bad we didn't get a chance to chat more, since they kept us so very busy those two days!

    And *love* the "variations" picture - it's almost watching the evolution of a single gown and petticoat as it gets altered and re-purposed over time! How clever of you ladies!