Category Archives: American Culture Studies

Domestic Politics

Every four years, after each presidential election, there are newspaper op-eds claiming that the campaign that year was longer, nastier, and more divisive than ever. The truth of the matter is that presidential campaigns of the past could be just … Continue reading

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Hanging in the Balance

As creator of the dollhouse that will go on display November 19 at Winterthur, Nancy McDaniel sought perfection in every detail, down to the miniature wall decor. Among the 128 tiny pieces positioned on the walls are watercolor and oil … Continue reading

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Reuniting Two Treaty Elm Vases

One of the more curious items in Winterthur’s collection is a carved wooden vase attributed to the Philadelphia carver George Magraph. The vase, or urn, which tilts slightly to the side due to warping over time, features vegetal carved decoration … Continue reading

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The New South: Reflections on the Future of the Past

The Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (WPAMC) took our annual southern studies field trip recently. Since the last trip occurred, Catharine Dann Roeber has taken over as assistant professor of Decorative Arts and Material Culture, and I have stepped … Continue reading

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Looking West: The Frontier Myth in Currier and Ives’s America

The American West is seen in the eyes of many as a place of freedom, expression of youth, and the location of some of the most beautiful natural spaces the country has left to offer. The infamous landscapes of Yellowstone … Continue reading

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Flowery Thoughts – People and Museums Working Together!

The exhibition Flowery Thoughts: Ceramic Vases & Floral Ornament at Winterthur is another in a series of loan exhibitions created by Winterthur Museum for its neighbor, the Brandywine River Museum of Art. This year’s exhibition will be unveiled at the … Continue reading

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A Blog Post Helps Solve an Art Mystery

The March blog post “Sleuthing in Rare Books to Reveal and Art Lover’s Interest” presented the collection of William Barnes Bement (1817–1897). Bement was a prominent Philadelphia industrialist and avid art collector. However, his descendants sold off his art collection … Continue reading

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Sleuthing in Rare Books to Reveal an Art Lover’s Interest, Part Two

The works of art in my possession were not purchased with a view to selfishly enjoying them; for, believing that collections of good pictures serve as educators in art and tend to foster a refined and healthful taste, I have … Continue reading

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Sleuthing in Rare Books to Reveal an Art Lover’s Interest

  Unlike Henry Francis du Pont, most art collectors don’t leave records explaining why he or she decided to purchase one work of art or another.  Understanding demand for art during a particular time period can help scholars determine how … Continue reading

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“Stand Fast in the Liberty”: A Rare Waistcoat Belt

On September 6, 1776, Peter, a slave from Salem County, New Jersey, ran away from his master’s property wearing “a white jacket with a belt before.” Charles Sherry, a convict servant, escaped from William Scott of Dumfries, Virginia, on February … Continue reading

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