Sunday, June 5, 2011

Winterthur

My visit last week to Winterthur Museum in the lush, beautiful Brandywine Valley of Delaware was very special.

I was able to see 2 Hewson quilts (both with his classic urn as the center motif) and the coverlet (also with the urn) which Andover Fabrics is reproducing (urn, both borders, birds and bouquets) later this year. The personable young intern who was my guide, Heather Hansen, did her Master's Thesis on quercitron dye. We had a lively discussion of dyestuffs and the printing process! It was a privilege to be able to view these quilts. I also saw a miniature chintz center panel quilt plus early, mid and late 19th century textiles.

I did spend some time late afternoon enjoying the gardens...beautiful peonies. I loved the conservatory attached to the 50 room 'cottage' Mr. du Pont built for his living quarters when he turned the Mansion into the Museum.


On the second day, I was able to tour Henry Francis du Pont's mansion...now the museum. I saw several Hudson Valley Resists plus many other wonderful textiles. I purchased Linda Eaton's book, Quilts in a material world, Selections from the Winterthur Collection. In Linda's introduction she has a great quote from Mr. du Pont...Winterthur " is really a textile museum". It truly is!

The remainder of the day was spent in the library with sample books. Winterthur is a teaching museum....so the attitude was very open to me seeing whatever I needed for my research. Study pictures were allowed and as fate usually works...I ran out of battery power for my camera (I had already changed batteries once) and with 20 minutes of library time remaining it was a choice of going back to the gift shop for a second purchase of batteries and probably only a few minutes with this last sample book......or relying on old fashion pencil sketches of what I might see. I decided to spend the available time with this last book..."Print sample book, 1795". It was a good choice There in this slim volume filled with 'croquis' I found the answer to my question!

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