If you’re like me, a visit to Winterthur, an American museum and estate in northern Delaware, will convince even the person least interested in antiques to become an avid fan. And by antiques, I’m talking about those furniture and fine art objects that today look out of place anywhere but a museum, yet at one time were (wealthy) people’s “everyday things.”
Winterthur is a sight to behold considering there are 175 period rooms on display and roughly 85,000 objects there. The collection spans more than two centuries of American decorative arts, the majority from the mid-17th century up until right before the start of the American Civil War. Considering these numbers, it should come as no surprise that Winterthur contains some of the most important pieces of American furniture and fine art which I really did love photographing.
Even though I grew up less than an hour from it, I only visited Winterthur earlier this month with my dad when I was in my hometown of Philadelphia for a visit. I don’t want to turn this into a lengthy historical background post so if you’re interested in learning about the family who gave the public this incredible collection of historical Americana relics, click here.
Information on visiting:
-Photography is allowed so have those cameras ready!
-Winterthur is known for its naturalistic garden. However, keep in mind that if you visit in the height of summer (when I did), there won’t be much in bloom. A prime time to visit would be either in the spring or fall.
-The most common and popular tour is the “Introductory Tour Package” which lasts an hour and has you visiting the 5th floor of the house. If you think, how many rooms can be on just one floor, well, the short answer is a lot. Remember, Winterthur has 175 rooms in all.
-If you’ve ever heard of the “Hidden Mickey” game, see how many times you can spot the American eagle or George Washington.
-Besides the house and museum exhibits, there’s much to see from an outdoor perspective. Younger children will undoubtedly love the Enchanted Woods. Don’t rush your visit if you have time to spare.