Category Archives: Uncategorized

The History of Little Paper Dolls

It may seem incongruous that a renowned research library for the study of American decorative arts has an outstanding collection of paper dolls. This extensive and greatly used collection was donated in the 1970s and 1980s by Maxine Waldron, art … Continue reading

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Extra-Illustrated Books in the Winterthur Library

“Have you Grangerized?” might have been a question asked in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, mostly by people in the United Kingdom and United States. Rev. James Granger (1723–76), an English cleric and print collector, started a fad … Continue reading

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The Remarkable Life and Career of a Free African-American Cabinetmaker

This mid-19th-century mahogany veneer dressing bureau, one of Winterthur’s newest furniture acquisitions, is a visually striking object with an even more striking history. Although the dresser conforms to popular urban furniture designs of its era (with its distinctive carved bracket … Continue reading

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Traces of Philadelphia in an Early Silkwork Picture

Samplers and needlework pictures can provide a tantalizing sense of connection to early  American history, serving as rare links to the personal experiences of girls and young women of the era. Even more alluring for their mystery are those pieces … Continue reading

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A Woman Lithographer in Nineteenth-Century New York

Frances Flora Bond Palmer (1812–1876) is the most important woman lithographer of nineteenth-century America. She is best known for her association with Currier & Ives, where, after joining the firm in 1851, she produced more prints than any other artist. … Continue reading

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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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Research Never Tasted So Good

As the 2016 election season reaches its climax, one of our research fellows has provided us with a delicious treat to celebrate the occasion. Bryce Evans, senior lecturer in history at Liverpool Hope University, England, is researching the history of … Continue reading

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Decking the Dollhouse Halls in August

Our recent blog posts have chronicled the dollhouse donated to Winterthur, with the most recent posts detailing the cleaning and conservation treatments. After completing those intricate tasks and treatments, it was time to begin the re-installation process. This meant using … Continue reading

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Sticking Around

The use of harmful adhesives in historic dollhouses is controversial as it poses risks to museum objects’ longevity. It is for this reason that a previous post on the dollhouse at Winterthur explained in depth the method we developed to … Continue reading

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Let There Be (Just Enough) Light!

The eternal dilemma for all museums revolves around light: we need light to see our collections, but light causes damage that eventually leads to objects’ destruction. Mitigating light exposure can help extend the lifespan of objects on display and is … Continue reading

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