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“Top of the charts museum....”

DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum
Ranked #9 of 107 things to do in Williamsburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A vast collection (8,000 objects) from 17th, 18th and early 19th century America are on display at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
Reviewed 25 November 2017

If you are at all interested in early American life and the artifacts that go along with it then the Dewitt is a must see. It is interesting to experience how the curatorial staff is constantly redefining the visitor experience by re-staging the exhibits and changing the narrative of the items shown....from 18th century clothing to of course furniture, ceramics, musical instruments and paintings....(plus much more) you can have a glimpse as to what life in the early days of the America we know today......at least from the center of wealth and political power of young America.

Thank Monty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"musical instruments"
in 34 reviews
"doll house"
in 8 reviews
"same building"
in 14 reviews
"colonial furniture"
in 9 reviews
"colonial williamsburg"
in 60 reviews
"public hospital"
in 19 reviews
"folk art"
in 27 reviews
"on display"
in 20 reviews
"wonderful collection"
in 6 reviews
"rainy day"
in 19 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 10 reviews
"mental health"
in 6 reviews
"gift shop"
in 12 reviews
"auditorium"
in 35 reviews
"exhibits"
in 104 reviews
"harpsichords"
in 18 reviews
"piano"
in 35 reviews
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23 - 27 of 489 reviews

Reviewed 16 November 2017 via mobile

I came for the hospital exhibit, and the special dollhouse and textiles exhibits. But there is so much more!

The entrance will take you through a brief exhibit of the Psychiatric Hospital that stood on this site. It's not extensive, but gives you a good idea of how things have changed in how the mentally ill are treated.

Downstairs (through the gift shop, naturally) are the museums. There is an excellent display of original artifacts found in Williamsburg and how they were used in reconstructing the town and a large display of rifles. Upstairs are exhibits showcasing furniture from the colonies, tea sets and other household serving supplies, and the specialty exhibits. I had no idea how much there would be to see! Since the museum is open until 7pm and the attractions in Colonial Williamsburg close at 5pm, I stopped in at the museum every night at 5pm until I'd seen everything I wanted to see. I especially enjoyed their categorization of furniture into New England, Coastal, and Backwoods. It is an interesting contrast to see the ornate Chippendale desk from Rhode Island and a beautifully inlaid chest from West Virginia, each made by talented craftsmen but using different resources in very different ways.

Although I didn't go to any of them, the museum also has many free events throughout the day. Kids might get bored looking at furniture and plates, but the adult history buff will love it,

1  Thank Melissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2017

Excellent museum. Free admission and free parking. Good half day tour. Many different themes in the different rooms.

Thank Gary E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2017

Nobody does it better than this amazing presentation of everything that was best in colonial life - from clothes to crockery, guns to toys & just about everything in between.

Thank Joan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 October 2017

Check your daily program for guided tours at the museum. The tour for the ceramics dept. was very informative.

1  Thank DEGhia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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