Janea Whitacre

tacre is Mistress of the Millinery and Mantua-making Trades at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. For the past 26 years she has applied her Art History degree to the research and technical re-development of her two 18thc trades. This work was recognized in 1995 with the establishment of the Milliner and Mantua-maker’s Apprenticeship program with Janea as the first Journey- woman. Ten years later, she was promoted to Master (or in her case Mistress) of the Trade.

Her trade work and costumes of 18th and 19thc clothing and accessories have appeared in various museum exhibits including Colonial Williamsburg, New York Historical Society, and The North Carolina History Museums. Her favorite projects include an exact copy of Thomas Jefferson’s great coat for the Natural History Museum of the City of Los Angeles and a bobcat fur lined brown velvet cap for The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. And for the National Park Service Yorktown, she studied and supervised the making of a muslin proto-type of the three dimensional 30 feet by 17 feet green wool ceiling liner for George Washington’s Dining Tent.

She has presented papers, lectures and workshops in Williamsburg, at  museums, and conferences across the country with the highlight being a character presentation of Margaret Brodie, an 18thc Mantua-maker, at the Costume Society Meeting, in Bath, England 2003. Her television appearances include two Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Fieldtrips, with live interaction with the students during the broadcasting of “Buying Respectability”, The Mr. Roger’s Show, and this year’s PBS show- The Love of Quilting.

Outside the 18th century, Janea makes costume for historic dance ensembles and her work has appeared on The Virginia Shakespeare Festival stage and with The Virginia Symphony.  And at the best of times, she may be found with her husband “Airstreaming” with their little silver trailer along any road that takes their fancy. It’s amazing how often these roads take her past a museum that just happens to have something related to costume history.

Home | Cast & Crew | About Our Shows | What They Say | Contact Us