Category Archives: Decorative Arts

Southern Collecting in the Post−Civil War Era: A Case Study of Barbara Fritchie’s Desk-and-Bookcase

On November 21, 1885, Ariana Trail wrote to her son-in-law, Reverend John Harding,  with a tone of urgency, imploring him to send his wife, Nan, $18, “so that she can buy Barbara Frietchie’s secretary, a lovely antique genuine, & in … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, antiques, Decorative Arts, Delaware Antiques Show, Furniture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


The Brew of American Independence: Tea and Coffee after the Revolution

In 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Revolution, Congress passed a joint resolution to devote the Rotunda of the Capitol to celebrating the Boston Tea Party. Joining celebrations nationwide, this was the first time this governmental building … Continue reading

Posted in Ceramics, declaration of independence, Decorative Arts, Ephemera, Library, museum collection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Ornamental Arts at Moravian Boarding Schools

Winterthur is renowned for its incomparable Pennsylvania German collection, but few realize that it also has an excellent small group of Moravian objects. Thanks to a recent research fellowship, l have been able to study the latter pieces that were, … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, American Culture Studies, Decorative Arts, museum collection, needlework, Pennsylvania German, Students & Alumni, Textiles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments


Delft Tiles, English Country Houses, Architectural Salvage, and Downton Abbey!

Madeline Hagerman, Winterthur postgraduate fellow in objects conservation, is researching delft fireplace tiles at Winterthur. Her series of blog posts details her findings. Read her latest post connecting England and America and the history of architectural salvage, with a nod … Continue reading

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A “Crazy” Quilt and its Revolutionary (War) History

Winterthur does not always acquire objects in pristine condition, untouched by time. For some objects, the years have not been kind. At some point, they have been purposefully altered, accidentally broken, or their histories forgotten. However, in their new state, … Continue reading

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Royal Commemorations: Celebrating Coronations and Jubilees with Objects

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Although Elizabeth ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, upon the death of her father King George VI, the coronation ceremony was delayed to allow for a period … Continue reading

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Chinese Export Porcelain, Swedish Iron, and Beer: A Union of Late 18th-Century Global Connections

An extraordinary pair of Chinese export porcelain mugs recently donated to Winterthur and featured in our Collecting for the Future: Recent Additions to the Winterthur Collection exhibition opening May 6, has a fascinating private as well as global history. Likely … Continue reading

Posted in antiques, Asian goods, Ceramics, China, chinese export porcelain, Decorative Arts, Eastern objects, exhibition, Exhibitions, galleries, museum collection, Prints, Photos & Drawings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


What’s Proof Got to Do, Got to Do with It?

  They seem to make unusual exhibition bedfellows: a pair of Tiffany Studios’ lampshades and an eclectic assortment of Staffordshire bear jugs, owl jugs, and candlesticks. On the one hand, the “Grape” and “Dragonfly” lampshades, on loan to Treasures on … Continue reading

Posted in art collections, art fraud, Ceramics, Decorative Arts, exhibition, Exhibitions, forgery, fraud, galleries, Glass, Treasures on trial, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Historians as Detectives

One of the best examples of the difficulty involved in dating and verifying a genuine antique is represented by the Chinese export porcelain in the Intent section of the Treasures on Trial exhibition. These objects were not sold in a … Continue reading

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Timing is Everything

Exhibitions often represent a point in time, and although Winterthur’s new exhibition Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes has been a project two-and-a-half years in the making, its arrival in early 2017 could not have been … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Decorative Arts, exhibition, sports memorabilia, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment