Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Artstor and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation are collaborating to make available approximately 1,000 images of works from the Foundation's collections in the Digital Library.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation operates the world’s largest living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia—the restored 18th-century capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous outpost of empire in the New World. Here it interprets the origins of the idea of America in the years before and during the American Revolution. The story of Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City tells how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s outstanding collections encompass nearly 70,000 examples of American and British fine, decorative, and mechanical art; 5,000 pieces of American folk art; more than 60 million archaeological artifacts; and 15,000 architectural fragments. These materials help us understand life in Virginia, the American colonies and the greater North Atlantic from the 17th century through the Early National Period.

Many of the collections furnish more than 200 rooms in Williamsburg’s historic buildings and are also displayed in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg: the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. There, both long-term and changing exhibitions are designed to tell stories. Once-common objects such as furniture, clothing, ceramics, metals, maps, and firearms become interpretive tools for talking about the people, events, and ideas of the past.

Finally, the collections are an unparalleled research repository. The Foundation’s archaeological holdings in 18th-century British and American materials are among the world’s most complete, while its archaeological environmental collections offer a window into plant and animal populations. The folk art collection is the nation’s largest and oldest; the fine and decorative arts include nationally important assemblages of Southern furniture, maps, British pewter, numismatics, British ceramics, and a host of other materials.