Category Archives: Decorative Arts

My Favorite Things

Take a peek inside the favorite things of those who work at Winterthur. Linda Eaton, John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections & Senior Curator of Textiles, and Tom Savage, Director of Museum Affairs, each share one of … 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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H. F. du Pont’s Chestertown House

It’s 1919, and you have a one-year-old daughter. Wilmington summers can be oppressive, and in these days before widespread air-conditioning, there is not much relief. Where do you go to escape the heat? Fortunately at that time, if you were … 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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True Colors: Light Damage and Historic Needlework

This January, Winterthur acquired at auction a canvaswork picture associated with a group of needlework made in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. This embroidery, circa 1750, was created by Mary Perrin of Roxbury, Massachusetts. In many ways, the needlework is in … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, antiques, Art Conservation, Conservation, Decorative Arts, museum collection, needlework, Students & Alumni, Textiles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Not Your Average Cleaning

  Faced with the challenge of washing 42 windows one might think it would take at least a team of people a whole day to accomplish this task, but not when you have us on the job! Especially if those … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Behind-the-Scenes, Decorative Arts, Dollhouse, galleries, museum collection, Students & Alumni, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


A Tale of Two Thrones

The quality of the materials and the effort that has gone into Nancy McDaniel’s dollhouse are unquestionably noteworthy, but perhaps the most delightful quality of the house are the stories that accompany it. This is one of our favorite stories. … Continue reading

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Wanna Fight About It?

Last week when I was in London to present a lecture to the English Ceramic Circle, I had the opportunity to revisit the British Museum, one of my favorite museums in the world. As always, I made a beeline to … Continue reading

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A Sticky Situation in the Doll “Mansion”

You were introduced to Winterthur’s doll “mansion” in our previous blog post, and already the museum visitors have expressed lots of anticipation for the doll house’s Yuletide debut in 2016. Before that can happen, however, various conservation problems must first … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Art Conservation, Decorative Arts, Design, House, Students & Alumni, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments


A Doll “Mansion”

Often the first reaction upon seeing Nancy McDaniel’s dollhouse is a gasp. It is a 6-foot-by-3-foot, slate- roofed, fully electrified dollhouse inspired by Queen Mary’s dollhouse in England, it was left to Winterthur when Nancy McDaniel passed away recently. We … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Art Conservation, Behind-the-Scenes, Conservation, Decorative Arts, galleries, House, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments