Category Archives: museum collection

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


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

Posted in Academic Programs, antiques, art fraud, Ceramics, declaration of independence, Decorative Arts, House, museum collection, Treasures on trial, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


A Closer Look: Winterthur’s Dollond Telescope

Taking a closer look has a double-meaning when a telescope is the object of our gaze. This one, with a mahogany wood barrel and brass fittings for glass lenses, is a special treasure in the Winterthur collection. It seems enormous … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, antiques, Art Conservation, Behind-the-Scenes, Decorative Arts, Du Pont Family, museum collection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Blossoming Prints: The Dutch Flower Still Life Tradition at Winterthur

Winterthur welcomes the first day of spring with printed flowers in bloom! Visitors to Winterthur know that Henry Francis du Pont’s love of flowers and gardens extended to his collecting and decorating practices. In addition to displaying fresh flowers in … Continue reading

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The Julia Child of Needlework

The second blog post in our New Accessions series features the needlework of Erica Wilson (1928-2011) recently donated to Winterthur by her family. Quite modern compared to the majority of Winterthur’s decorative arts collection (most of which were made before … Continue reading

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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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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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