WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – An exhibition of distinctive works of art from across the globe, series of lectures, and themed events enhance daily offerings in 2012 at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center, year-round living-history museums that tell the story of America’s beginnings. The museums feature gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in outdoor re-created settings – Powhatan Indian village, 1607 English ships and 1610-14 colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement and Revolutionary War encampment and 1780s farm at the Yorktown Victory Center.
“The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World,” a special exhibition organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for Jamestown Settlement, continues daily through August 15, with a related evening lecture on June 9, “Captains, Monarchs, Philosophers, and Merchants: Picturing the 17th Century.” Displaying 65 artworks from European, Asian, African and American cultures, the exhibition explores developments that set in motion the transition from “old” world of the Mediterranean to a new globally connected world.
Jamestown Settlement’s expansive permanent exhibition galleries and introductory film chronicle 17th-century Virginia, where America’s first permanent English colony was established in 1607, in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures.
Two afternoon lectures, “Exploring 17th-Century Virginia: Legislating Boundaries and Creating Culture” on February 12 and “In the Cause of Liberty: Shaping the American Ideal of Freedom” on February 19, will be presented during Jamestown Settlement’s “From Africa to Virginia” theme month. “Virginia Economy in the 17th Century” is the theme of evening lectures on April 28 – “How Tobacco Became a Commodity” – and May 19 – “Virginia Seeks a Crop.”
“From Africa to Virginia,” with daily programs highlighting the culture of the first known Africans in Virginia, is the first of three theme months during the year. “Seed to Stalk” theme month at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center in June explores early American agriculture, and “Pastimes of Colonial Virginia” at both museums in August showcases games, storytelling and other diversions.
Jamestown Settlement’s annual “Military Through the Ages” takes place March 17 and 18, with hundreds of re-enactors spanning the centuries.
Three events mark important milestones in the nation’s history. “Jamestown Day” at Jamestown Settlement on May 12, jointly sponsored with Historic Jamestowne, commemorates the 405th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony. At the Yorktown Victory Center, “Liberty Celebration” on July 3 and 4 salutes the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. A rare broadside printing of the historic document dating to July 1776 is on exhibit in the museum galleries, which offer the perspectives of citizens and soldiers who lived during the nation’s formative years. Surrounding “Yorktown Victory Celebration,” held October 20 and 21 in conjunction with the 231st anniversary of the decisive military victory of the American Revolution, is a series of three evening lectures, on September 22 and October 6 and 27.
Both museums offer holiday programs in late fall. Historical Virginia foodways are featured during “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia” November 22-24, and 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions during “A Colonial Christmas” December 1-31.
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. from June 15 through August 15. A value-priced combination ticket for both museums, offering 20 percent off separate admissions, is $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for ages 6 through 12. Jamestown Settlement admission is $15.50 for adults, $7.25 for ages 6-12. Yorktown Victory Center admission is $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for children ages 6-12. An annual pass also is available. Parking at the museums is free.
Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 South at the Colonial Parkway next to Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia). The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown near Yorktown Battlefield, administered by the National Park Service. The museums are a short distance from Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums, and other attractions. Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center admission is included in several Williamsburg area joint tickets and vacation packages.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.