Henry Francis du Pont, a member of one of Delaware’s industrialist families, began collecting American antiques, art, and architecture in the 1920s and transformed his family’s 19th-century estate into a world-renowned museum that opened to the public in 1951. Join decorative arts specialist Erin Kuykendall for an in-depth exploration of the exceptional collection of American decorative arts on view at the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.
On the way to Winterthur, Kuykendall offers an overview of du Pont’s role as a collector, the museum’s history, its holdings, and research and conservation programs. The visit begins with a tour of the mansion’s interiors to see exceptional examples of early American furniture, silver, metalwork, textiles, glass, and fine art, all set within historic architectural interiors from the early 1700s through the 1840s.
In addition to a comprehensive tour of the house, the group also visits Winterthur’s conservation and scientific labs for a close-up look at ongoing research projects. Observe the equipment and techniques employed by curators and conservators as they evaluate an object’s authenticity, provenance, and historical significance. This behind-the-scenes analysis sets the stage for a tour of the new exhibition Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes, which showcases diverse examples of fake or forged objects. Learn how Winterthur’s specialists used scientific analysis and stylistic clues to expose the work of clever fraudsters.
Enjoy lunch at the Visitor Center’s Garden Cafe, which offers seasonal items inspired by the museum's collections and exhibitions. The afternoon includes free time to view the estate’s lavishly landscaped gardens.
Fringe stop at about 8:40 a.m.
The tour involves considerable walking, standing, and some stairs.
Departs Mayflower Hotel, DeSales St side
1127 Conn. Ave NW; Fringe: DoubleTree
by Hilton, 15101 Sweitzer Ln, Laurel, MD