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Written in Confidence: The Unpublished Letters of James Monroe

December 2, 2016
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February 11 – May 21, 2017

Unpublished and on view for the first time, these letters are an important new resource for research and scholarship, providing viewers with a unique, inside glimpse of the man who served as President of the United States from 1817 to 1825.  Playing out as a drama in letters, these documents shed light on Monroe’s deliberations, particularly when making political appointments, revealing the sometimes uneasy task of granting positions of power.  The letters’ exhibition and their accessibility to researchers at the Special Collections Research Center create the exciting potential for new discoveries. Uncovering lost details of Monroe’s life and leadership, they provide a new lens through which to view one of the nation’s early leaders.


[Monroe-Crawford Letters, 1816-1822, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, William & Mary Libraries.]

A Deed Well Done: Thomas Jefferson’s 1783 Honorary Degree

December 1, 2016
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February – August 2017

Thomas Jefferson’s Honorary Degree , from collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is the only diploma Jefferson received from his alma mater and confers upon him “gladly and eagerly of the degree of doctor in the civil law.”  This pocket exhibition focuses on Jefferson’s years at William & Mary and the mentors who helped shaped the mind of the third President of the United States.

This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Office of the President at William & Mary.  Read more about Jefferson’s diploma here.

Botticelli Preview Lecture

November 17, 2016
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November 17, 2016  | Dr. John T. Spike |  Third Thursday Lecture Series | 6 PM  |

Assistant Director and Chief Curator Dr. John T. Spike will preview the upcoming exhibition Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities. Through his lecture, Dr. Spike will illustrate and discuss the importance of the many highlights of the show, which will include the most paintings by Botticelli ever exhibited in America.  The theme of this historic show will be the transformation of Florentine Renaissance painting during the patronage of the Medici dynasty which led unexpectedly yet directly to the tumultuous Bonfire of the Vanities.  Presented by EVB.




Brafferton Indian School Symposium

November 3, 2016
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November 3, 2016  |  Session 1:  9 AM to Noon, Session 2:  2 PM to 5 PM  |

Interested in learning more about William & Mary’s Brafferton Indian School?  The Muscarelle Museum of Art is pleased to host a day-long symposium, titled Reflections on Virginia’s Colonial Indian School: The Brafferton at the College of William & Mary, held in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School. The symposium will consist of scholarly presentations by William & Mary faculty and Colonial Williamsburg staff.  Additionally, student posters will highlight ongoing research on the Brafferton Indian School. The symposium is free and open to faculty and students at the College, as well as the general public.  For more information, please contact Sydney Stewart at    Click here for Brafferton Symposium Schedule.

Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School

September 9, 2016
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September 10, 2016 through January 8, 2017    Due to the inclement weather, the Muscarelle will be closed this weekend. We regret that January 6 will be the last day to come and see “Building the Brafferton” exhibition.  However, stay tuned for a forthcoming online version and exhibition catalogue.

Constructed in 1723, the Brafferton Indian School remains a strong visual symbol on the campus of the College of William & Mary. This is the first exhibition to examine the history of the Brafferton within the wider trans-Atlantic networks of trade, politics of church and state, and Great Britain’s colonial enterprise in North America.  New research on the Brafferton connects Indian students from the Pamunkey, Cherokee, Nottoway, and Wyandot tribes, to wider narratives of our shared past.  Historical paintings, engravings, archival documents, and contemporary Native American Art, are assembled to explore the founding, funding, and legacy of one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed institutions of higher learning.

Curated by Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and the Muscarelle Museum of Art, and Buck Woodard, Ph.D., American Indian Initiative, Division of Historical Research and Interpretation, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Press Release Available Here


Hark Upon a History: The 1929 Journey to England

As a companion exhibition to Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School, Hark Upon a History is dedicated to William & Mary President Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler’s journey to explore and shed light on the English heritage of the College. In the spring of 1929, President Chandler and school architect, Charles Morrison Robinson, set sail for England. The pair were on a mission to investigate the history of the College and the origins of the Brafferton, which up until that point lay forgotten. This exhibition marks the first time that materials pertaining to their journey are on view. Curated by Sydney Stewart, ’16 and Michaela Wright, ’16, Hark upon a History  will be on display in the Herman Graphic Arts Study Room.


Museumscopes: Photography by Massimo Pacifico

April 14, 2016
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April 16 – August 14, 2016

The Muscarelle Museum of Art is pleased to announce the North American premiere of Museumscopes: Photography by Massimo Pacifico,  a colorful exhibition on the surprising theme that laughter, tears, sleeping and dancing happen every day – even in museums.  In his worldwide travels to shoot stories on five continents, renowned Italian photographer Massimo Pacifico discovered along the way that museums are also great places to see people just being themselves.  He focuses his lens to portray, sometimes with humor and always with sensitivity, the expressions and gestures of his fellow visitors as they stand, watch, ignore or mimic, the statues and paintings all around them.

Curators at Work VI

March 4, 2016
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April 16 through August 14, 2016

Our signature series, Curators at Work, returns in its sixth installment and features significant works from the permanent collection as well as exciting recent acquisitions. This annual exhibition provides the opportunity for undergraduate students from the College of William & Mary to serve as curators under the direction of Dr. John T. Spike in his seminar Curating, Collecting and Connoisseurship (INTR 220-01).

Faculty Show 13

May 19, 2015
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September 12, 2015 – January 17, 2016

Recent works of the teaching studio art faculty including visiting instructors and emeriti professors of The College of William & Mary are featured in Faculty Show 13.  This exhibition encompasses a variety of media including ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.  A long-standing collaboration between the Museum and the Department of Art & Art History, Faculty Show 13  includes works from the following artists: William Barnes, David Campbell, Linda Carey, Lewis Cohen, Suzanne Demeo, Michael Draeger, Eliot Dudik, Michael Gaynes, Kathleen Hall, Mike Jabbur, Marlene Jack, Brian Kreydatus, John Lee, Jayson Lowery, Elizabeth Mead, Ed Pease and Nicole M. Santiago.

Press Release Available Here

Leonardo’s First Stop: Article in the New York Times

December 3, 2014
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After its extremely successful exhibition “Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Masterpiece Drawings From the Casa Buonarroti” last year, the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., is turning its attention to another Renaissance giant. “Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty” will open at the Muscarelle on Feb. 21, where it will be on view through April 5. Like the Michelangelo show, it will then travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where it will open on April 15.

Read the Full Article

Student Soirée | Kabuki to Sushi | November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014
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Kabuki to Sushi: An Evening of Japanese Culture

On Friday, November 7, from 5:00 to 7:30 PM, the Muscarelle welcomes William & Mary students for an evening of sushi and refreshments in honor of our featured exhibitions Kabuki Theater Woodcuts and Tree to Mountain: The Woodblock Prints of Toshi Yoshida.  In addition to a tea tasting sponsored by Argo Tea, a traditional Japanese dance performance will be presented by the William & Mary Japanese Culture Association.

Complimentary admission to all students with a valid W&M ID. There is a $5 cost for those, with valid ID, who wish to enjoy wine for the evening.