Category Archives: American Culture Studies

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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A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

The coconut:  it conjures up images of summer luaus and tropical sands, or perhaps it brings to mind the zany sound effects from a certain Monty Python production. There is another intriguing way to envision a lovely bunch of coconuts: … Continue reading

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Travels through Conservation

As director of conservation at Winterthur Museum, I have had one of the best jobs in the world. Every day I visit the conservation labs at Winterthur, where a remarkable staff and twenty graduate students in art conservation work to … Continue reading

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Life of the Party

We’ve all seen the “life of the party” at a gathering or two. The teller of jokes, the keeper of magic tricks, the dancer of jigs, the wearer of a lampshade…which brings us to this 1966 CoverGirl advertisement for Frosty … Continue reading

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