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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., May 27, 2011 – “The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World,” an exhibition developed by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in cooperation with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, will open November 16 at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia.  Seventy artifacts from European, Asian and African cultures – oil and watercolor paintings, etchings and engravings, needlework, and decorative and utilitarian objects of ceramic, wood and metal – will come from the Virginia Museum for the exhibition, which will run through August 15, 2012.

“Gateway to the Modern World” will explore developments beginning in the 15th century that set in motion the transition from “old” world of the Mediterranean – the center of European commerce and diplomacy since ancient times – to a new globally connected world.  The subject matter is organized in theme areas, with objects selected to illustrate the Mediterranean world, Europe’s westward turn toward the Atlantic, advances in science and technology, religion and the age of exploration, and trade and the establishment of colonies across the globe.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with another great state cultural agency and share objects from our stellar collection,” said Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Alex Nyerges. “This is an exciting collaboration.”

“Gateway to the Modern World,” supported in part with a grant from James City County, will be located in Jamestown Settlement’s special exhibition gallery, where “Werowocomoco: Seat of Power” is in place through June 30.  The museum, which features extensive permanent gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in outdoor re-created settings, is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a state agency that also operates the Yorktown Victory Center. 

Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg.  For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free.