Written by Jan Ohrmundt
Montross native Bill Jenkins received the title Earl of Windsor from Michael Dunbar in 2006 after taking all 11 of that master chairmaker’s Windsor chair classes. If you’ve never seen Jenkins’s elegantly crafted pieces at shows, fairs or markets in Kinsale, Tappahannock, Montpelier, Staunton, or Richmond, now is your chance. Jenkins is the featured local artist at the July 17 to August 17 Westmoreland County Museum’s Art and Wine event. Those who come on July 17 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. can meet and talk with the artist at the opening reception – perhaps learning a few of the many facts and legends about the design, which dates to the 18th century, that he has learned over the years.
Jenkins work has been judged at the Artisans Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, which then accepted him as a Virginia Professional Artisan. Another claim to fame is that several dozen of his chairs were used in the 2008 HBO mini-series John Adams based on the David McCullough book of the same name. There has also been a recent inquiry about the possibility of renting some for another film set in the Colonial era.