Winterthru Museum – Wilmington, Delaware

Winterthru Museum – Wilmington, Delaware

Pronounced “winter-tour” this house will take you back to see the items that were made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860.  Displayed in this 175 room house you will see what collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont loved and wanted to share with the public.

There are nearly 90,000 objects included in the exhibits for you to see.  The house is still similar to when the du Pont family lived there.

The collection features decorative and fine arts which are organized in several main categories: ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, paintings and prints, and textiles and needlework.  Winterthur’s ceramics collection includes some 19,000 objects of types made in or imported into America.  The earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain in the collection represent an unusually broad range of manufacturing and design types and have special strengths among American, English, and Chinese wares.  The diversity of the collection will be fascinating to anyone that has a true love of ceramics.

The glass items count nearly 4,000 objects.  Not only are there beautiful pieces created in America but also items that are English and Continental.  These are items that comprised the majority of elegant table glassware found in wealty and middle-class American homes.

Winterthur’s American furniture collection is the largest and arguably the finest in the country. With a wide range of regional and stylistic forms, the collection of more than 9,000 objects spans the mid-1600s to the 1870s.  Rarely will you have an opportunity to see so many beautiful pieces in one location.  The quality and diversity of the pieces are outstanding.

Metalsmiths who settled in colonial America and trained successive generations of craftsmen left a legacy of metalwork important to all aspects of life. Winterthur’s impressive collection of American-made and imported metalwork encompasses more than 21,000 objects of gold, silver, silverplate, iron, pewter, copper, and alloys of copper such as brass, bronze, and paktong. Collection strengths include domestic and ecclesiastical pewter collected chiefly by museum founder Henry Francis du Pont and the museum’s first director, Charles Montgomery. Other important groups include wrought iron hardware as well as ornamental and useful implements; lighting and lamps, many incorporating François Pierre Ami Argand’s design; Kentucky rifles; and colonial American silver.

The silver collection includes approximately 9,000 examples of maker’s marks on flat silver such as spoons and sugar tongs.

Over 450 paintings, most of them by American artists, are featured at Winterthur. Among his early purchases are some of the most important paintings in the collection. In 1930, du Pont purchased important southern works including Henry Benbridge’s double portrait of Captain and Mrs. John Purves and James Earl’s elegant Rebecca Pritchard Mills (Mrs. William Mills) and Her Daughter Eliza Shrewsbury. Benjamin West’s unfinished American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations with Great Britain, dating 1783 to 1784, was acquired from the J.P. Morgan collection in 1948.

Winterthur’s collection of over 4,000 prints and maps is comprised of both American and foreign examples. By the 1930s, du Pont was acquiring significant prints relating to colonial and Federal era America.

The textiles are a wide array of quilts, samplers and needlework pictures.  Some date back as far as 1678 with the Sarah Stone’s band sampler.  The collection of printed cottons and lines is among the best in the world.

The Winterthur Library was established in 1952 to furnish staff, students, and the general public with research materials about American decorative arts. Since then it has become a recognized research center for advanced study and is dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of America’s artistic, cultural, social, and intellectual history from colonial times into the twentieth century.

The library, located in the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Research Building, is open to all interested readers without appointment or charge, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm; it is closed on legal holidays. Staff welcomes inquiries and will respond in as timely a manner as possible.

The garden at Winterthru will be a place you will enjoy for the beauty and the peace afforded to you while you visit.  There are 1,000 acres which have rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests.

General Admission:
Member     Free
Adult     $18
Child (2–11)     $5
Infant (under 2)     Free
Senior (62)     $16
Student (with valid ID)     $16

There are tours available too so check with them for pricing and times.  Call 800.448.3883 or 302.888.4600
Because there is so much to see at Winterthru the tickets are honored for two days to give you time to see it all.

Hours

Museum and Garden
Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Last tour tickets sold at 3:15 pm. Last tour is at 3:30 pm.
Closed Mondays (except during Yuletide), Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day
Open late every Tuesday during Yuletide with last tour tickets sold at 6:15 pm.
Early closing on Christmas Eve with last tour tickets sold at 2:15 pm.

Library
Monday–Friday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Closed holiday Mondays

Address

Winterthur
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Winterthur, DE 19735

Directions

For in-car GPS and online mapping services, use the following address:
5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807

From Philadelphia
Take I-95 South to Wilmington. Take exit 7B, which is Delaware Avenue/Route 52. At end of exit ramp, turn right at light to head northwest. As soon as possible, move into left-most lane because road splits; continue on Route 52 North. Winterthur is on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington.

From I-476 (the Blue Route)
Take the Blue Route to I-95 South to Wilmington. Follow directions from Philadelphia.

From New Jersey, New York, and points north
Take the New Jersey Turnpike south to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow I-95 North to Wilmington. Take exit 7, which is Delaware Avenue/ Route 52. Travel three blocks to Route 52; take a left at the light. Stay in left-most lane to continue on Route 52 North. Winterthur is on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington

From Baltimore, Washington, and points south
Take I-95 North to Wilmington. Take exit 7, which is Delaware Avenue/ Route 52. Travel three blocks to Route 52; take a left at light. Stay in left-most lane to continue on Route 52 North. Winterthur is on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington.

Phone
800.448.3883
302.888.4600
302.888.4907 TTY

E-mail
tourinfo@winterthur.org

Mailing Address
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE 19735