Category Archives: Decorative Arts

A Whimsical Walk through Dining by Design: Nature Displayed on the Dinner Table

We need more whimsy in this world. For me, ever the fan of anything bovine, that whimsy struck as I turned to enter the final room of the Dining by Design: Nature Displayed on the Dinner Table exhibition and was … Continue reading

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Celebrating a Milestone: A Lithograph Honoring the Fifteenth Amendment

A lithograph in the Winterthur collection depicts a grand parade on May 19, 1870, in Baltimore, Maryland, celebrating the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave African American men the right to vote. Published by Thomas Kelly and based on … Continue reading

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Mass-Produced Relics: The Story of a Mount Vernon Gem

This past President’s Day there was much love for, and celebration of, our first POTUS, George Washington. This sentiment was widely shared by our mid-19th-century compatriots, who were enamored by the story and glorification of George Washington. Winterthur has a … Continue reading

Posted in antiques, collection, Conservation, Decorative Arts, George Washington, museum collection, President's Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Making a Meal of it—Preparing for Winterthur’s Upcoming Dining Exhibition

Dining by Design: Nature Displayed on the Dinner Table, opening April 1, 2018, takes a fresh look at the history of dining and dinnerware from the 1600s through modern times and celebrates how hosts and hostesses have brought the natural … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Behind-the-Scenes, Ceramics, chinese export porcelain, collection, Decorative Arts, exhibition, Exhibitions, galleries, museum collection, Students & Alumni, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment


‘Tis the Season of Traditions

Yuletide has arrived at Winterthur, and visitors can enjoy the treasures of Christmases past by exploring various customs, decorations, and stories. Whether it is sending holiday cards, trimming a tree, or eating festive cookies, families  have new and old traditions. … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Decorative Arts, Du Pont Family, Library, museum collection, Uncategorized, Yuletide | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


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

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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

Posted in antiques, collection, Decorative Arts, exhibition, Exhibitions, galleries, museum collection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments