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Displaying items by tag: frances parke custis

In the first exhibition of its kind in 50 years, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, one of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, is presenting the exhibition "A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South." The show, which features more than 400 objects drawn from the Colonial Williamsburg collections, will include a dozen categories of media and represent four geographic regions of the South -- the Chesapeake region, the Carolina Low Country, the Backcountry South, and the Gulf Coast. Works from 10 other institutions and 14 private collections will also be exhibited.

Together, furniture, paintings, prints, metals, ceramics, mechanical arts and arms, architectural elements, archaeological objects, rare books, maps, costumes, accessories and musical instruments will tell the story of the region’s population from the 17th century through 1840 as it expanded westward and southward toward the frontier. Each of the works on view has undergone exhaustive research, which has yielded some unexpected findings. For example, a painting of Frances Parke Custis, on loan from Washington and Lee University, was revealed to be the work of the Brodnax Limner, a little-known artist who worked in Virginia during the 1720s.  

Ronald L. Hurt, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s vice president for collections, conservation, and museums and its Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator, said, “The early American South has long been depicted as a society that produced almost none of the objects used by its substantial populace. However, the opposite is true. Southern artists and artisans generated a vast body of material in virtually every medium. The abundance and diverse cultural resonance of these goods will be powerfully conveyed by the objects assembled for this exhibition.”

"A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South" was entirely funded by Williamsburg residents, Carolyn and Michael McNamara. The exhibition will be on view at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum for five years, until 2019.

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