When Winterthur opened to the public in 1951, visitors toured a private collection assembled over several decades by Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969). He dreamed that his collection and 175-room home would “afford all those interested an opportunity to view and to study the conditions surrounding the early American home life.”
Sixty-six years later, that dream has grown. A house museum, decorative arts collection, garden, and renowned research institution, Winterthur today has much to offer. With such a variety of interests in mind, the museum staff continues to build on H.F. du Pont’s core collection through the addition of a wide range of objects for the enjoyment of all our visitors.
This exhibition features an eclectic selection of recent additions to the collection, examined through the lenses of four museum collecting policies that motivated the acquisition of these items. “Tools for Teaching” features diverse items that aid Winterthur educational mission. “The Stuff of Global Life” examines objects forged through global exchange. “Representing America’s Diversity” highlights objects made by free African Americans. “Reinvention and Reuse” investigates the layered history of “altered” objects.
As you explore the exhibition, you will encounter fascinating objects that reshape our understanding of American history. Each one is a welcome addition to the Winterthur collection.