Opening May 1
Beginning in childhood, Henry Francis du Pont was a collector, gathering birds’ eggs, plants, and other natural objects in the gardens and woods of Winterthur and beyond. In later years, that same drive to “gather” and create beauty with objects was translated on a grand scale into his remarkable collections of decorative arts.
This exhibition, a partnership with the Delaware Museum of Natural History, brings selections from their collection of natural specimens together with collections drawn from Winterthur’s museum and library holdings, demonstrating the powerful connection between nature and the decorative arts.
Outside In considers how du Pont looked to nature for inspiration for his interiors and brought the outside in, creating an aesthetic that has inspired designers ever since. The enduring theme of nature in design is captured through objects featuring naturalistic elements and, in some instances, objects like shells and feathers found in nature. Organic objects like ladles made from coconut shells and busks made from whale bone are included in the exhibition, inspiring visitors to consider current discussions about preservation and conservation of the natural world.
This visually eclectic and immersive exhibition will capture the imagination of visitors of all ages with objects ranging from a hornet’s nest to shells, minerals, and fossils to exquisite inlaid cabinetry and shellwork grottos.
Image: Port Royal Entrance Hall