In the early 20th century, Henry Francis du Pont (1880 - 1969) created a grand country estate at Winterthur, his ancestral home in Delaware's scenic Brandywine Valley. An avid collector of American art and antiques and a devoted gardener and horticulturist, du Pont furnished his house with exquisite antiques and architecture representing the best craftsmanship and styles of early America. The garden he created at Winterthur is a masterful example of naturalistic design, arranged in lyrical color combinations with a succession of bloom that occurs throughout most of the year.
Today, Winterthur's collection of more than 85,000 early American decorative arts objects is without equal. The museum is home to groundbreaking exhibitions, programs for a wide variety of audiences, and art conservation laboratories. The garden is set amid nearly 1,000 acres of rolling pasture—a landscape of quiet grandeur. Graduate programs and a preeminent research library make Winterthur an important center for the study of American art and culture.
Du Pont opened the 175-room house to the public in 1951. In his later years, he wrote:
I sincerely hope that the Museum will be a continuing source of inspiration and education for all time, and that the gardens and grounds will of themselves be a country place museum where visitors may enjoy as I have, not only the flowers, trees and shrubs, but also the sunlit meadows, shady wood paths, and the peace and great calm of a country place which has been loved and taken care of for three generations.
Winterthur is a rare national treasure, combining beauty, history, art, and learning. H. F. du Pont's legacy at Winterthur continues to inspire, enlighten, and delight our visitors. We invite you to experience our unique history, tour the remarkable museum, and stroll the lovely garden.