National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

An American Vision: Henry Francis du Pont's Winterthur Museum, 5 May - 6 October 2002

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

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 Chest, Berks County, Pennsylvania; 1765-1810 Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, located near Wilmington, Delaware, in the beautiful Brandywine Valley, was founded in 1951 by the great American collector Henry Francis du Pont. Set on nearly one thousand acres of rolling countryside, this American country estate has been home to du Ponts since 1837. Born at Winterthur in 1880, Henry Francis du Pont distinguished himself as an astute connoisseur and collector of American fine and decorative arts. By acquiring many of the finest and rarest items made or used in America between 1640 and 1860, he chronicled American history through the objects Americans owned. Although du Pont's collecting was by his own admission driven by personal interests, he recognized the importance of building a representative collection, which today comprises over 85,000 works. This exhibition presents du Pont's preferences--the greatest strengths of Winterthur's collections--in both thematic and chronological groupings: Early Settlement and Sophistication, A Passion for Rococo, East Meets West, The Arts of the Pennsylvania Germans, and American Classicism.