Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Viewing Winterthur's Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens

Before leaving Winterthur, we had one last collection to view at the Dorrance Gallery [named for John Dorrance, Jr., Chairman of the Campbell Soup Company], the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens donated to Winterthur in 1997.  


Mr. Dorrance and W.B. Murphy, the company president, began collecting the tureens in 1966, and the collection grew to include tureens and soup-related objects from Europe, Asia, and America. The dates range from the 1800's to modern times, and consist of  porcelain, silver and other materials.
















Believe it or not, this was only a sampling of the tureens!  They spanned two rooms, but after so many photos throughout the day, my camera battery was almost dead.

I have a collection of turkey tureens.  Do you collect tureens?

We spent an entire day at Wintertur, and ran out of time for the tram garden tour.  What a fabulous place to visit, and we only skimmed the surface.  I would love to see the "Acorn Tea Room" in the Enchanted Woods.

In 1961 Jacqueline Kennedy asked H.F. du Pont to chair her Fine Arts Committee when she redecorated the White House.  

Ruth Wales du Pont died in 1967 and Henry F. du Pont in 1969. What a legacy they're left behind for others to enjoy.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Touring Winterthur Museum

When we finished the Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit, we had a 12:00 p.m. introductory tour of the Museum.  The 45 minute tour covered the fifth floor, and was included in our general admission ticket.


A model of Winterthur was displayed in the waiting area.  Beneath the model was the following explanation:  "The original Winterthur residence, built in 1839, was a three-story, twelve-room house.  Henry Francis du Pont, the collector, was born here in 1880.  In 1902, a major addition was constructed across the north facade.  A large wing, extending southward down the hill, was added between 1928-30 to house a growing collection of early American decorative arts.  Winterthur became a museum in 1951.  A second wing was built in 1959-60 for administrative offices and additional tour space."  The museum is a 96,582 sq. ft., 9-story structure, containing 175 period rooms of American treasures, and is situated on 982 acres of land.


A foyer displayed a portrait of Henry Francis du Pont, and an American pine cupboard [called the Webb dresser] filled with pink Staffordshire transferware.  It was the inspiration for Henry du Pont's collection of American decorative art, and was later donated to Winterthur. The transferware, though made in England, was widely used in America.



The first formal room of the tour was the du Pont Dining Room.  To my amazement, photography was allowed, but no writing instruments, so I forgot a lot of details the guide shared because of sensory overload, but it was fabulous none-the-less.

China cabinets in the Dining Room [below].  Mr. du Pont had 58 sets of china, and it was he, not Mrs. du Pont, who meticulously looked after all the details of a dinner.  He kept a record of guests and table settings to ensure they wouldn't be repeated. The room's decor is Neoclassical, or Federal style, popular after the American Revolution.




The six silver tankards on the sideboard below were made by Paul Revere, and are the only known set.   Notice the two "knife urns" on the sideboard.


Below are large Chinese porcelain urns, signifying our country's early days of trade with China.  


A room exclusively for candlesticks!


~ Dining Room Cross Hall ~


Tea accoutrements in the Chestertown Room below.  When we were there, chimney's were being rebuilt, and 230 windows were being replaced, so in some photos you will notice green scrim over the windows, and plastic covering over fireplace openings as in the photo below.


China Hall had a display of china that belonged to George and Martha Washington.  Replica teacups were in the Cottage Gift Shop for $125.00.


The Chinese Parlor was beautiful.  Notice all the floral bouquets are one color.  Our guide said that Mr. du Pont, being a naturalist, preferred his arrangements that way instead of mixing colors within a bouquet.  


Below is Vicker's Alcove.  Doesn't that faux food look good?  ;-)


Pictured below is the Montmorenci Staircase. Ruth Ellen du Pont [the youngest daughter] threw her bridal bouquet from there.


~ The Conservatory ~


Below is the Marlboro Room [the woodwork is from the 1745 Patuxent Manor in Marlboro, Maryland].  Notice how it's set up for Afternoon Tea.  That's because the family gathered in that room every afternoon for tea when they were residents.  Custom tours featuring specific aspects of Henry du Pont's collection can be arranged with two week's notice.  I'd love to see his entire collection of teawares, wouldn't you?

Bruce Richardson made a comment on my September 8th blog post saying he and Jane Pettigrew agreed that Winterthur has the largest collection of exceptional tea things in America - maybe even better than the Victoria and Albert Museum collection in London, England!  





Our guide used the term "clustering" to describe Mr. du Pont's method for displaying his collection of decorative arts.  







This concludes the fifth floor tour.  From the museum we walked a short distance to the Cottage Gift Shop, which originally was the home Mr. & Mrs. du Pont moved into when the museum opened to the public. I wish I would have taken photos of it, but I didn't. Aside from a large gift shop, it has a CafĂ© that seats 20, with additional seating on the patio. It was a beautiful day, so we sat on the patio to enjoy some refreshments, and rest our weary feet.

Below are the items I purchased.  Some items were from the Costume Exhibition Gift Shop, and others were from the Cottage Gift Shop.  As you can tell, it's hard for me to resist books. Developing theme teas are always on my mind.





Winterthur tea from Eastern Shore Tea Company - a fine black Darjeeling tea.


A cobalt blue Winterthur commemorative plate. 



~ A teacup tea towel ~



And I previously showed the Downton Abbey CD and box of Mark T. Wendall Tea Company's HU-KWA tea.

We purchased 2:30 tickets to tour the sixth floor of the museum.  It was just our foursome and the guide, and no photography allowed on this tour.  It began in an indoor courtyard surrounded by four actual exterior building facades of Montmorenci in North Carolina; a 1756 summerhouse from Middletown, Rhode Island; a doorway from Springfield Massachusetts; and the 1800's brickfront Red Lion Inn, from Red Lion, Delaware. It reminded me of Michigan's Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village.


Following that tour we went to the nearby Dorrance Gallery to view Winterthur's Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens - tomorrow's post.

*  *  *

Today I'm joining Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday 
and
Antiques and Teacups for Tuesday Cuppa Tea


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Reflection...


I'm still sorting through my mother's things, and I found this thought provoking poem:

"If Jesus Came to Your House"

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two,
if He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do.
Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,
and all the food you'd serve to Him would be the very best,
and you would keep assuring Him you're glad to have Him there
that serving Him in your own home is joy beyond compare.

But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door
with arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly Visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?
Or hide some magazines, and put the Bible where they'd been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn't heard?
And wish you hadn't uttered that last, loud, hasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing,
and read the books you read,
and let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you'd planned to go?
Or would you, maybe change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends?
Or would you hope they'd stay away until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

It might be quite revealing to know the things you'd do
If Jesus Christ in person came to spend some time with you.

~ by Lois Kendall Blanchard

In reality, He is an 'unseen' presence in our homes and hearts everyday.

*  *  *

May God bless your week!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Part II Downton Abbey Costumes Exhibit at Winterthur Museum

Make yourself a cup of tea as we view the elegant costumes worn by the 'upstairs' ladies at Downton Abbey.  And while you're waiting for the kettle to boil, I have a correction to make. In yesterday's post I shared what our shuttle driver told us about the costume exhibit being exclusive to Winterthur, and that it wouldn't be traveling anywhere else. Well... I read online today that a Downton Abbey costume exhibition will be opening at the Biltmore Estate on February 5th running through May 25, 2015.  It too will feature 40 costumes from the PBS series.  I don't know if they'll be the same costumes featured at Winterthur, but there will be another exhibit at another location. Biltmore will not be outdone by Winterthur, but Winterthur can boast they were the first to host the costume exhibition!  ;-)

~  Cora, Countess of Grantham's Day Dress ~



~ Lady Mary's Day Dress ~


The dresses were worn at baby "Sybbie's" Christening.


~ Lady Mary's Walking Suit ~



~ Matthew's Cricket Match Costume ~


Lady Sybil's Edwardian summer dress and hat worn at the outdoor garden tea party.


Lady Mary's summer dress and hat worn at the same event.


~ Matthew's Pinstripe Suit ~



~ Lady Rosamund's Walking Tweed Suit ~


~ Lady Edith Crawley's Wedding Gown ~





~ Lady Mary's Dress for the Wedding ~


~ Lady Sybil's Dress for the Wedding ~


~ Lady Sybil's Sea Green Dress [even though it looks gray] ~


~ L-R: Lady Cora's Coat; Violet's Lace Coat & Hat; and Lady Edith's Coat ~


~ Flamboyant Martha Levinson's Coat and Hat [Lady Cora's Mother] ~


~ Lady Cora's Beaded Dress with Velvet Coat ~



~ Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham's Evening Dress ~


~ Lady Rose MacClare's Pink Beaded Dress ~


~ Lady  Sybil's Harem Pants ~


~ Lady Edith's Evening Dress ~


~ Lady Mary's Beaded Evening Dress ~


~ Lady Mary's Engagement Dress ~





~ Lady Cora's Evening Dress ~




~ Martha Levinson's Evening Dress ~


~ Isobel Crawley's Evening Dress ~


~ Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham's Evening Dress ~


~ About Gloves  ~



~ About Tiaras ~


Believe it or not, I didn't show you all the pictures I took, but I shared the most important ones.  

From the costume display we went into the exhibition store.  In my next post I'll show you what I purchased.  

At 12:00 noon we were scheduled to go on a 45 minute introductory tour of the mansion [5th floor], and that will be a succeeding post.  Please come back!