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The Winterthur Museum

Updated on October 14, 2013

The Winterthur Museum

The Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, is gloriously located in some beautiful landscape.

It consists of a Visitor Center, a residential complex with the original mansion, garages, greenhouses and several gardens. The mansion became a museum, with a vast library, and a large outbuilding.

When Henry Francis du Pont made his decision to convert the house to a museum , all the "working" spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms, and all the sanitary installations were removed and converted into exhibition space .

All the rooms are locked, and they can only be opened with the guide's key. Every group of visitors is accompanied by a guide.

The rooms are gorgeously decorated, and filled with beautiful American and Chinese porcelain . There is a lot of American furniture to be admired, of which many have been manufactured according to the English standard of Chippendale .

The Exhibition


The reason why Chippendale is so well known worldwide, stems from the fact that furniture maker Adam Chippendale was the first to write a series of books about his methods, and the then existing styles.

After that, furniture makers over the world used his books as a guide.

Chippendale describes three main styles ; the French Rococco, Chinese and Gothic.

Besides the furniture and the porcelain, Henry Francis du Pont decidedly had an excellent taste for color harmony, wallpaper, curtains, silverware (with some really amazing items), glassware and paintings.

He personally chose all the nuances and combinations, and monitored everything down to the smallest detail.

All the structural elements, such as woodwork and ceiling decorations, are rather austere and not heavy or excessive, which makes the content stand out, rather than the form.

Guided Tour of the Estate

There is a guided Tour with a train, which brings you around the various gardens, and what remains of the agricultural areas.

There are no less than twenty separate farms, each housing a different specialty.

A Visit through the Mansion


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