Category Archives: museum collection

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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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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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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Why So Sensitive?

If you read the Winterthur Blog about a year ago, you may have stumbled across the post A Brittle Beauty and discovered that the treatment of Winterthur’s Chinese export lacquer has been part of an ongoing IMLS grant that began … Continue reading

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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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