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Conferences, Forums, and Workshops


The office of Conferences, Forums and Workshops presents a broad range of high-quality programs that address issues of historical and contemporary significance as well as focusing on the decorative arts, material culture, historic trades and horticulture. Colonial Williamsburg's skilled professionals are joined by distinguished members of the academic and professional communities to present these programs.

Join us for the Garden Symposium, Working Wood, the Antiques Forum, and other programs for a rewarding learning experience.

Please bookmark this site and check back frequently for new offerings. Special conference rates are available for programs at Colonial Williamsburg's official hotels. To make lodging and dining reservations, call 1-800-261-9530 Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Program Information and Online Registration


  • September 9 - 10

    Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections
    Annual Meeting

  • September 15 - 18

    The Building Arts: From Foundations to Finishes

    The preservation of the nation's historic structures relies on scholarship, accurate and appropriate materials, and skilled craftsmen. Each component helps inform the other culminating in the stability and accurate portrayal of our built heritage. In the past two decades, new technology, research, as well as material and trades development have impacted the way we understand and care for our historic structures from their foundations to their finishes.

    This conference will gather leading architectural researchers, conservators, and craftsmen to discuss our understanding of 18th-century building technology, the replication of period building practices, and production of period appropriate materials. Attendees will hear about and see the process from the research phase to the live production of materials.

    In addition to the formal program, guests may register for optional hands-on workshops with several of the speakers. These workshops will address 18th-century paint making, masonry, and woodworking.


  • table

    February 2-5

    Working Wood in the 18th Century
    Be Seated!  Eighteenth Century Chair Making

    The 2017 woodworking conference will explore the regional, stylistic, and construction variations in a range of 18th-century American seating furniture and the shops that made them, from finely carved high style chairs from large  to the gracefully turned vernacular Windsor chair. Joining Colonial Williamsburg’s cabinetmakers will be nationally known scholars and traditional woodworkers who will present demonstrations, programs and workshops on the construction, carving,  and turning involved in producing seating furniture. Special conference highlights will include presentations on the history of 18th-century seating furniture, Windsor chair finishes, and tools and toolmaking.

  • March 26-28

    Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home

    With their brilliant colors and engaging designs, early painted and printed textiles were eagerly sought for fashionable clothing, quilts, and other home furnishings. But textiles also tell human stories that sound modern: traders transporting goods from the other side of the world in ships powered by wind and sails; domestic workers trying their best to respond to foreign competition; people making the effort to dress in up-to-date styles despite their limited means; and the importance of chemistry and mechanical expertise in the production of consumer goods. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia, hosts this symposium about painted and printed textiles with invited speakers, exhibit tours, and juried papers.

    Call for Papers: “Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home”

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is seeking proposals for fully illustrated oral papers to be presented at a symposium to be held March 26-28, 2017, in the Hennage Auditorium at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The symposium will coincide with the exhibition “Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home, 1700-1820” to be mounted in the Gilliland Textile Gallery. Papers may be on any topic related to printed or painted textiles of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. We especially seek topics relating to America’s use of textiles printed locally or imported from around the world, to include goods for clothing, quilts, bed hangings, and furniture covers. Papers might also discuss the importance of chemistry and mechanical expertise in the production of consumer printed goods.

    Scholars are invited to submit 300-word abstract proposals for illustrated oral lectures 25 minutes in length. Paper proposals are due to Colonial Williamsburg for peer review by May 31, 2016; acceptances will be announced by July 1, 2016. Those whose abstracts are selected for presentation will receive free symposium registration. Submit abstracts to Printed Fashions Abstracts, attention Linda Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 309 First Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or by e-mail at For general information about the symposium, contact Michele Moyer 800-603-0948 or 757-565-8937 or via e-mail at

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Post Office Box 1776
Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776

Telephone: (757) 565-8937
Toll free: (800) 603-0948