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'Pocahontas Imagined'

Jamestown Settlement Special Exhibition
Through January 28, 2018

Pocahontas Imagined Four hundred years after the 1617 death of Pocahontas in England, her image and legend live on. Using depictions of Pocahontas from across the centuries, Jamestown Settlement presents “Pocahontas Imagined,” a special exhibition that illuminates the reasons behind her enduring legacy as well as her impression on popular culture and art.

The renowned Powhatan Indian who befriended English colonists in Virginia in the early 1600s has been immortalized in art, song and story. Born about 1596, Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, chief of more than 30 tribes in coastal Virginia. Several years after converting to Christianity and marrying Englishman John Rolfe, Pocahontas became ill and died at Gravesend, England, in March 1617.

In “Pocahontas Imagined,” visitors encounter Pocahontas as a real Powhatan Indian girl, who in life became a symbol of successful colonization and who in death has inspired myths and images to promote a range of unrelated causes. Her image has been used to market merchandise, from oranges and cranberries to tobacco and coal.


Pocahontas Brand Oranges packing label, California Fruit Growers Exchange, Los Angeles, California, 1940s. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.

The special exhibition, which runs through January 28, 2018, features portraits and sculptures inspired by Pocahontas, as well as memorabilia, advertisements and interactive experiences, including opportunities to step into a cutout of an oversized 1907 postage stamp featuring Pocahontas’s image. Visitors can to see Pocahontas’s likeness and her portrayal in the 20th century through a variety of media.

A special children’s area in the exhibition allows young visitors to experience Pocahontas’s life as a little girl in a Powhatan Indian village and try art-related activities, such as weaving, decorating clay pots on a chalkboard wall, and learning about hunting and gathering.

Young visitors also can receive an activity card that they can take outdoors to explore artistic patterns, lines and colors in objects in Jamestown Settlement’s re-created Powhatan Indian village, three 1607 English ships, and colonial fort.

The exhibition is supported in part by a grant from James City County.

About Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, except for Christmas and New Year’s days. The living-history museum is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne.

2017-2018 admission is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, is $23.00 for adults and $12.00 for ages 6-12 (2018: $25.50 for adults, $12.25 for ages 6-12). Admission for residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg. Parking is free.