Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library
The Henry Francis DuPont Estate
The name DuPont is one of the most recognizable brand names in the country, if not the world. Known largely as a chemical company, developing products such as nylon, Teflon, Kevlar and more, it was founded initially as a gunpowder mill in 1802.
The DuPont family name itself is ingrained in American history not only as contributing to our emerging economy in the early days of our country, but as a dynastic family that has remained dedicated to the preservation, collection, support, and sharing of American Antiques, Craftsmanship, History, and the Arts overall.
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, located in the Brandywine Valley of Delaware, is just one example of this legacy. Henry Francis DuPont designed the home with his father after a European country estate, complete with dairy cattle and 60 acres of gardens. Already a collector of European Art and decorative arts, he quickly became interested in the American designs, and grew to become one of the premier collectors in history.
He continually expanded and refined the home, growing it from a “mere” 30-room home to 175 rooms, each one filled with fine American art, decorative arts, and furniture. But it wasn’t only the inside; the outside was just as grand. Being a horticulturist, DuPont oversaw the design and management of the gardens and the overall estate.
Recognizing the importance of the collection and the significance of the property, he designated the estate as a museum to preserve and share the collection. To further preserve the estate, he set up very strict regulations and mandates to ensure it remained true to its purpose and origins, and true to the artistic, historic, and architectural origins.
He was very specific. Very.