New Discoveries in 18th-Century Architecture and Interior Design Conference

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.Building Arts Conference

“Building Arts: From Foundations to Finishes” Showcases New Knowledge of 18th-century Structures, Materials, Decorative Arts and Trades

Participants in Sept. 15-18 conference sessions qualify for continuing education units through the Interior Design Continuing Education Council

Ninety years after the restoration Virginia’s 18th-century capital began, the book on period architecture, materials and building trades is still being written. The Sept. 15-18 conference “The Building Arts: From Foundations to Finishes” offers an opportunity to learn about fundamentals and new findings from Colonial Williamsburg’s world-renowned conservators, curators, trades staff, researchers and guest presenters.

Participants also qualify for continuing education units through the Interior Design Continuing Education Council.

“The nearly 600 structures of Historic Area are often viewed together as a static recreation,” said Matt Webster, Director of Colonial Williamsburg’s Grainger Department of Architectural Preservation. “Every day, however, new research and analysis inform and change how we conserve and rebuild structures. This conference showcases expertise from both our team and renowned guests for enthusiasts and practitioners alike.”

Decorative arts expert and World Monuments Fund Chairman Christopher Ohrstrom delivers the conference’s keynote presentation, “A Global View of Traditional Building Arts Training,” and presents on “Block Printing in America: Rediscovering a Lost Trade” with Steve Larson of Adelphi Paper Hangings, LLC.

Conservator and paint analyst Susan Buck presents on “What Aged Wallpaper Fragments Can Reveal: Exploring Traditional Wallpaper Evidence Using Optical Microscopy Techniques,” while Christian and Erika Sanchez Goodwillie discuss “Contemporary Practice in the Replication of Historic Architectural Paints.”

Colonial Williamsburg experts scheduled to present include:

  • Senior Architectural Historian Carl Lounsbury and Master of Masonry Trades Jason Whitehead on period masonry
  • Curator of Architecture Willie Graham, Master Carpenter Garland Wood and Master Joiner Ted Boscana on framing
  • Associate Curator of Architectural Collections Dani Jaworski on Historic Area structures and architectural fragments
  • Conservator and Materials Analyst Kirsten Moffitt on paint analysis
  • Curator of Textiles and Historic Interiors Kimberly Smith Ivey on wallpaper history and the Colonial Williamsburg collection

Each of five sessions Sept. 16 and 17 qualifies participants for one IDCEC continuing education credit.

Four optional expert-led sessions include a paint making program, a framing and finishing workshop, a brickmaking tutorial and a hands-on examination of architectural collection items.

Additional information and registration is available by calling 1-800-603-0948 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by visiting

A deluxe ticket includes all presentations, a Historic Area tour, four coffee breaks, an opening reception Sept. 15 and conference dinner in Colonial Williamsburg’s Brickyard and Colonial Williamsburg Admission through Sept. 22 for $310. A Friday ticket includes Sept. 16 programs and two coffee breaks for $125; a Saturday ticket includes Sept. 17 programming plus the Brickyard dinner for $200. Optional workshops are $75 per person. Conference participants may purchase guest opening reception tickets for $45 each and Brickyard dinner tickets for $85 each. Special room rates are available for conference participants at the Williamsburg Inn and the Williamsburg Lodge.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation preserves, restores and operates Virginia’s 18th-century capital of Williamsburg. Innovative and interactive experiences highlight the relevance of the American Revolution to contemporary life and the importance of an informed, active citizenry. The Colonial Williamsburg experience includes more than 500 restored or reconstructed original buildings, renowned museums of decorative arts and folk art, extensive educational outreach programs for students and teachers, lodging, culinary options from historic taverns to casual or elegant dining, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club featuring 45 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and his son Rees Jones, a full-service spa and fitness center managed by Trilogy Spa, pools, retail stores and gardens. Philanthropic support and revenue from admissions, products and hospitality operations sustain Colonial Williamsburg’s educational programs and preservation initiatives.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
P.O. Box 1776
Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776