CW’s 74th Annual Antiques Forum Explores “Virtue & Vice” Feb. 25 – Mar. 1, 2022

From l to r: Sampler, Sarah Araline Huse, America, 1813, Bequest of Grace Hartshorn Westerfield; Card Table, Charleston, South Carolina, 1805-1815, Museum Purchase; The Pretty Bar Maid, Published by Carington Bowles, London, England, ca. 1775, Museum Purchase. 

What can an antebellum card table, an 18th-cenutry engraving, and a sampler sewn by a 6-year-old schoolgirl tell a modern audience about the moral codes of the past? Join internationally-renowned curators, conservators, collectors, and scholars at Colonial Williamsburg’s 74th Annual Antiques Forum to find out. This year’s conference, offered both in-person and online from Feb. 25 – Mar. 1, 2022, will focus on the themes of virtue and vice by exploring the many ways that the ceramics, furniture, metals, paintings, prints and textiles of the 18th and 19th centuries exemplify the societal evolution of ethics.

“Our material possessions speak volumes about the moral codes we adhere to, as individuals and collectively as a society. That’s just as true today as it was hundreds of years ago,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president for museums, preservation, and historic resources. “The 2022 Annual Antiques Forum will challenge common perceptions of virtue and vice in the 18th and 19th centuries. And it might make us think twice about what our own possessions will say about us one day.”

Guest presenter highlights include:

  • Returning guest-speaker Mike Rendell on the virtue and vice of the Georgian Court in the private and public sector.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Associate Curator Wolf Burchard exploring the Georgian monarchy between enlightenment and empire.
  • The BBC’s Antique Roadshow’s Lars Tharp combining his expertise on ceramics with an exploration of William Hogarth’s famous depictions of prostitutes and ne’er-do-wells.
  • Leslie B. Grigsby, senior curator of ceramics and glass at Winterthur, on ceramics and glass made for pure enjoyment.
  • Lea Lane, curator of collections for Preservation Virginiaon carved tobacco pipes.
  • University of Delaware and the Smithsonian Institute’s Ken Cohen on billiards and early American democracy. 
  • Speed Museum curator Scott Erbes on English manufacturer Matthew Boulton and American silversmith Asa Blanchard.
  • Tyson Distinguished Scholar of the Crystal Bridges Museum Carrie Barratt analyzing virtue, vice and solace in American art.
  • Independent curator William Sargent on Chinese export art.
  • Scott Stephenson, president and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution, on espionage and powder horns.
  • Bly Straube, senior curator of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, examining Catholic iconography from the early English settlement of Jamestown.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Arts curator David Barquist on silver and religion in the Americas.

Director of the South Union Shaker Village, Tommy Hines, exploring the relationship between protestant religious groups and the wine and whiskey industry.Sessions featuring Colonial Williamsburg staff include:

  • Curator of furniture Tara Chicirda on gaming tables of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Katie McKinney, the Margaret Beck Pritchard Associate Curator of Maps & Prints, on Macaroni prints.
  • Senior curator of textiles, Kim Ivey on schoolgirl samplers.
  • Amanda Kellermanager, historic interiors and associate curator, household accessories, and Dani Jaworski, manager, architectural collections, with updates on new Art Museums exhibitions.
  • Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president for museums, preservation, and historic resources Ronald L. Hurst with an update on recent additions to the Colonial Williamsburg collections. 

In-person registration is $650 per person for the general public and $485 for museum professionals and students and includes access to lectures, continental breakfast, coffee breaks, evening receptions, and conference dinner. Virtual-only registration is $175 per person and includes access to lectures through the conference streaming platform. Both in-person and virtual-only registration include a 7-day ticket voucher to Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums and Historic Area, valid for redemption through Dec. 31, 2022. Registration and payment in full are required by Feb. 5, 2022. Conference guest tickets are available for a 7-day ticket voucher to Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums and Historic Area ($22), opening reception on Feb. 25 ($50) and conference dinner on Mar. 1 ($85).

A limited number of virtual and in-person conference scholarships are available to students and emerging museum professionals with an application deadline of Dec. 20. In-person registrants can also register for optional pre- and post-conference activities including bus trips, walking tours, and workshops with a registration deadline of Feb. 5. Special room rates at Colonial Williamsburg hotels are available for in-person conference registrants. All registrants will have access to the main conference lectures via the streaming platform through April 1, 2022. 

Sponsors of the 74th annual Antiques Forum include The Decorative Arts Trust, Brunk Auctions, Jeffrey S. Evans & Assoc., and Skinner, Inc.

For registration and additional information visit, call 1-800-603-0948 toll-free, or email [email protected]. Follow Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook  and @colonialwmsburg on Twitter and Instagram.

Media contact:             Ellen Morgan Peltz

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