Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yuletide at Winterthur

Yesterday we went to see the Yuletide display at Winterthur in Wilmington, DE. Winterthur is a museum that was home to Henry Francis du Pont. He was born there and also died there. In his lifetime he amassed an enormous collection of early American decorative art, furniture and architectural elements (this bored my husband to no end). I've been to the museum part of Winterthur but I had never toured the actual home. For Christmas this year, several rooms were filled with gorgeous holiday trees and were also decorated as if to celebrate Henry's daughter's wedding in 1938.

The first interior room you walk into seems like you are outside. The four walls are actual facades taken from buildings.

Next we took an elevator up several floors to a room filled with three garden themed trees. The smell of the blooming paperwhites was wonderful!

A peony tree, a spring bulb tree and a fairy tree: all three things that Winterthur's gardens are known for.

Next was a formal sitting room complete with
desserts and punch set out for guests of the 1938 wedding celebration.

This stunning tree was decorated entirely with dried flowers.

We moved on to an Asian themed room with wall paper hand painted in 1775 (I kid you not, I asked the tour guide to repeat himself.).

And then a music/entertaining room with a spiral staircase to die for.

Onto a garden room set up with a bar and buffet.

This would be my favorite room if I lived here (and not just because there is a bar here:).

Another dining room for the wedding guests.

And a dining room for the du Pont family.

I had to ask what those two things were on the buffet table... knife urns filled with silver knives with ivory handles. The handles were painted to look like jade (why not get jade handled knives if you're that rich). The painting was by Benjamin West and depicts the American signers of Treaty of Paris, the British signers refused to sit for the painting.

An azalea themed tree. In the spring the gardens are filled with hundreds of blooming azaleas.

The last tree on the tour was a 1950's themed tree complete with bubble lights and vintage toys.

Happy Holidays!


Kath said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Jennifer! We don't celebrate here in England, but I give thanks for the wonders of the internet and the friends it has brought into my life from all over the world!
Enjoy your holiday and your lovely family,

best wishes Kath

Laura said...

I love places like that. It looks like a marvelous tour and a lovely place to enjoy walking through and imagining what it would have been like to live there.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Meghann LittleStudio said...

Wow, I think I could definitely suffer myself to live there!
Thank you for bringing us along with you, what a treat!

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

What a neat place to tour through!

Haven't commented much, but read all your blog posts and so enjoy your photos.

First Draught Farm said...

Wow, what a great tour! Thanks so much for sharing. I've always wanted to go there.

Faerie Moon Creations said...

How absolutely beautiful! I would really and truly enjoy myself there. Thank you for sharing. I hope that you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving. :) Theresa

Shannon said...

Simply Beautiful, so many Thanks for the lovely photos. Definately a place I would love to visit. Also would like to say your Art is fantastic.

allhorsestuff said...

Loved every detail of that Tour. What a gorgeous place with so much neqat history.
The music, so wonderful!
I KNOW you'd like thatgarden room..not for the bar...but for the OUTDOORSEY bright and neat!
Thnkas for this...makes me want to go tour our own treasures nearby..Pittock Mansion...though not as old, very cool history!
Hope you are enjoying Your THANKSGIVING!

I am placeing an order soon, on your Etsy~

Lin said...

Oooh, that looks like a great trip! It was just lovely and that flower tree---WOW! Can you even imagine having to live with hand-painted walls from the 1700's??? Criminy. I'd have felt guilty, but that look would have been painted over a LONG time ago!!! ;)

Jessie McCandless said...

Amazing--so much history. I especially like the painting where the British refused to sit and the painter left that space empty. So interesting!!!!

Cedar Knoll Farm said...

Would you believe...I thought you meant Winterthur, Switzerland! I lived in Winterthur, Switzerland years ago!