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Walter W. Craigie Speaker Series Presents: Science, Secrets and Symbolism

  • Historic St. John's Church, 1741 2401 East Broad Street Richmond, VA, 23223 United States (map)

President and Chief Conservator for F. Carey Howlett & Associates
Former Director of Conservation at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

F. Carey Howlett

presenting a talk entitled

Science, Secrets and Symbolism:
The Art and Mystery of St. John’s Sounding Board

  • 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.  Continental Breakfast in the Parish Hall
  • 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. Presentation and Q&A inside St. John's Church

Free and Open to the Public but you MUST RSVP by May 10. 


Please call Sarah Whiting at 804-649-0263 or click the link above to RSVP via email.  

The wooden sounding board above the pulpit at Historic St. John’s Church is one of the most important colonial artifacts in Virginia. Dating to 1741 when St. John’s was built, it is one of four surviving colonial sounding boards remaining in Virginia. The sounding board features an inlaid sunburst bearing a human face, a unique feature among colonial Virginia churches. Unfortunately, previous refinishing and layers of aged varnish altered the original appearance of the sun.

The Sounding Board Restoration project, led by Conservator Carey Howlett, was a two-year journey to discover the original appearance of the sounding board and the best way to restore it. The project brought together high-tech science, cutting-edge restoration techniques and old-fashioned detective work. Howlett will talk about his conservation work, the discoveries he made and the secrets they reveal.