Historic Sotterley will be welcoming Matthew Webster as our next speaker for Sotterley Presents: People and Perspectives. Mr. Webster is the Executive Director of the Grainger Department of Architectural Preservation and Research for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

He will be talking about Williamsburg’s Bray School, which was founded in 1760 for the education of enslaved and free Black children, but only operated until 1774. It is the earliest surviving school dedicated to Black education in North America, and this lecture will discuss the complexity of the history and research that allowed the building to remain “hidden in plain sight”, and the restoration efforts at the Bray School today.  

Mr. Webster oversees the preservation of 603 structures in the National Landmark Historic Area, the 18,000-piece architectural fragment collection, architectural research, and historic interiors.

Prior to Williamsburg, he served as Director of Preservation at Drayton Hall (1754) in Charleston, South Carolina. He also served as Director of Restoration for George Washington’s Fredericksburg Foundation in Fredericksburg, Virginia where he oversaw the restoration of Kenmore (1770).

Webster sits on the board of Falmouth Heritage Renewal in Falmouth, Jamaica, and on the advisory boards of Preservation Virginia, Stratford Hall, Menokin, in Virginia, and Drayton Hall in South Carolina. He has consulted on projects throughout the eastern United States as well as internationally. He has taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Mary Washington and lectures frequently on preservation, architecture, and history topics. 

This presentation is part of our Common Ground Initiative and is generously supported by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation made possible through the National Endowment for the Humanities American Rescue Plan Humanities Grantmaking for Organizations. 

To register for this free event, please visit www.sotterley.org! 

Historic Sotterley

Historic Sotterley, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the oldest museums of its kind in the United States, with a history dating back to the turn of the 18th century.

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