Final Weekly Update: Colonial Williamsburg Art Museum

As I contemplate this, my final week at the DeWitt Wallace Art Museum in Colonial Williamsburg, I find myself amazed at the amount that I have learned in such a short time. I would like to thank the Woodys again for the opportunity to spend my summer in such a wonderful place.

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A Dog’s Life Live Steam plus CW Guest Blog Entry

Hello all,

Today I am in preparation to give a live stream performance of the “Dog’s Life” tour tomorrow morning at 10am. I am somewhat nervous about this since the usual tour follows a different order for the objects and covers a wider variety of objects, but I am ready to give it my best effort. You never know until you try, right? After I finish speaking, the tour will open for live Q&A where guests can ask myself or Jan Gillian, one of our curators, questions about dogs, ceramics in the surrounding exhibit, or anything at all (within reason, of course). At the end, Liberty, one of Colonial Williamsburg’s trained dogs, will be present to give the audience a little living, breathing, dog interaction. It should be a fun and educational experience, so I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow!

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Hello friends,

This is my first blog in about two weeks as I was on vacation last week in the Outer Banks with my family, and thus was not working at the museum. The beach was great (although very very hot), but I am super happy to be back in Williamsburg. Yesterday was my first day working solo–both Christina and Trish were out of town! I headed the World Made Small tour with our junior interpreter, Baron Joseph age 11, and we set up/broke down Creature Crafternoon (a program designed for families) in the afternoon. In between, we worked on a family guide directed towards helping adults engage their children in museums by playing gallery games. The guide is turning out well, I think, and Baron and I are really enjoying collaborating on it. He is truly a huge asset to our department. In the early afternoon we catalogued all of the identification numbers of objects classified as “toys” on display in the museum for another future family guide.

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First Solo Tour and Furniture Research!

On Tuesday I gave my first solo A World Made Small tour! The tour was centered around an exhibit showcasing the museum’s dollhouse collection, as well as other miniature play sets from colonial times through the 20th century. I think the tour went fairly well–the only issue was that I went a little too quickly. Next time, I plan on slowing down my information and adding a sentence or two about each of the pieces that I discuss. I also tag-teamed the Dog’s Life tour yesterday with my co-supervisor, Christina, and I think that one went well too! We had a lot of fun splitting up the different objects since she is also new to that tour and the information that it presents about dogs and other pets during colonial times. Did you know that Colonial Williamsburg had a law preventing homeowners from having more than two dogs, neither one of which could be female? Well, now you do.

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Strangulation Research

Hello everyone,

This week at the museum has involved a lot of new developments. First, I helped out at the Murder Mystery program that runs on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-6:30. The program was a ton of fun to participate in! The guests get to learn a little bit of history about King George III’s illness (porphyria) and his restoration while solving a mystery about a fake murder committed by one of the museum employees. Needless to say, some guests are VERY enthusiastic. As a follow-up for this program, I have spent a decent amount of time this afternoon researching how much force it would take for a woman to strangle someone with a lanyard while kneeling…I have also continued working on finding primary sources for a teacher’s guide to our Revolutionary War map exhibit and collating all of that information into one document for my supervisor as well as studying the family guides of other museums to get examples for a new family guide.

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