Upcoming Tours

The following tours will be offered July 2–November 3, 2019. Reserved Tours are not included in general admission and require a separate ticket. Tickets for the spring season are available for purchase online , by calling 800.448.3883 or 302.888.4600 (TTY 302.888.4907), or onsite at Winterthur by visiting the Visitor Services desk in the Visitor Center.

Introductory Tour

The Introductory Tour takes you into the premier entertaining rooms enjoyed by H. F. du Pont’s friends in the 1930s and ’40s decorated for spring with fresh flowers. At that time, guests arriving at Winterthur for a country house weekend were ushered first to the Marlboro Room for afternoon tea and later were escorted to the magnificent dining room for a meal consisting almost entirely of foods grown on the Winterthur estate. After dinner, guests might repair to the Chinese Parlor to enjoy a game of cards while listening to Ruth du Pont play show tunes on her Steinway, or they might relax in the Conservatory amid H. F. du Pont’s ever-changing display of blooming plants, before ascending the elegant curving Montmorenci Staircase to their bedrooms. Walk in their footsteps among the exquisite objects that make up H. F. du Pont’s premier collection of American decorative arts and elegant rooms accented with abundant flowers taken fresh from the Winterthur cutting garden and greenhouses. Fifth floor; 1 hour; 10:30 am–3:30 pm, every half-hour. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org for more information.

Time Traveler's Tour

Learn about the lifestyle of the du Pont family while exploring the spaces where they played, worked, and entertained decorated for spring with fresh flowers. Designed especially for families with children ages 4–11. Includes take-home sticker album and activity book. Fifth floor; 1 hour; 10:30 am–3:30 pm, every half-hour. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org for more information.

 

Reserved Tours

Antiques & Architecture

H. F. du Pont called the fourth floor of his house the entrance floor when he and Ruth Wales du Pont lived here, since this is where they welcomed their guests in rooms designed to create fabulous first impressions. Today visitors on the Antiques & Architecture Tour will see those reception rooms and surrounding spaces filled with outstanding collections of furniture and accessories dating primarily from the 18th century, with particular emphasis on high-style Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture from the mid-1700s. Contrasting with these elegant interiors are colorful Pennsylvania German fraktur and painted chests displayed against the architectural backdrop of a rustic 1750s stone farmhouse. Specialty collections include an array of mold-blown glass pocket flasks from the early 1800s, an expansive display of iron cooking implements, Philadelphia pewter from the mid-1700s, and cupboards full of diverse ceramics including colorful delftwares from England and the Netherlands, whimsical Pennsylvania German sgraffito, refined creamware by Wedgwood in a variety of patterns, and Chinese porcelains in the famille rose palette, which was H. F. du Pont’s personal favorite. First, fourth, and fifth floors; 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. (Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hr. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org.) for more information.

 

Fashionable Furnishings

Imagine yourself visiting Winterthur in the 1930s as you tour the gracious guest bedrooms, each furnished entirely to a different style period, which were enjoyed by H. F. and Ruth du Pont’s special friends. The collections emphasize high-style furniture dating from the early 1700s through the mid-1800s, and feature beds dressed with colorful whole-cloth quilts and embroidered bed curtains. You will also see a dramatic dining room decorated with impressive Empire furniture and gilded copper lustre dishes, and the large and inviting Memorial Library, lined floor-to-ceiling with books and providing delightful views from windows overlooking the Winterthur Garden. Local visitors in particular will appreciate seeing a room from a Wilmington, Delaware, home filled with furniture, maps, and images from Wilmington, New Castle, and Odessa.  Special collections include early American glass, Liverpool jugs, a large array of “impolitical” prints documenting the increasing tensions between Britain and her North American colonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution, and a room filled with memorabilia honoring America’s great founding father, Benjamin Franklin.  First and sixth floors; 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. (Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hr. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org.) for more information.

 

Distinctive Collections

On the Distinctive Collections Tour, take a stroll down Shop Lane, a brick street flanked by storefronts of the 18th and 19th centuries, and go “window shopping” among the displays of English ceramics, gleaming silver, and lustrous copper cookwares.  Don’t forget to visit the China Shop, filled with rare Chinese porcelains, and the End Shop, where shelves laden with bolts of cloth and utilitarian wares evoke a general dry goods store from the 1800s.  On the 8th floor, see the uniquely American collections of earthenware and stoneware pottery, and the spare and calming Shaker rooms, as well as Dutch Hudson Valley furniture from colonial New York, bedrooms furnished with Pennsylvania German artifacts, and the delightful Child’s Room, with its child-size, four-poster canopy bed and timeless toys that run on imagination alone. First, third, and eighth floors; 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.  (Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hour. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org.) for more information.

 

H. F. du Pont: The Collector

This two-hour tour reveals stories of intrigue and interplay among collectors, dealers, and the antiques market in the first half of the 20th century. Multiple floors; 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.  (Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hour. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org.) for more information.

Winterthur Then & Now

This tour features the magnificent garden as well as several floors of the house. It focuses on the life of the du Pont family in the first half of the 20th century, the development of the collection of American decorative arts, and the evolution of a private estate into a public resource. 10:30 and 1:00 pm; (Adult [age 8 and above ]; 2 hrs. Please call 800.448.3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org.) for more information.

 

Conservation Tour

Go into any major museum in America and odds are good that the conservators who care for the collections trained at Winterthur. Tour the world-famous conservation laboratories where works of art and antiquity are examined, studied, and cared for by expert conservators. Adult (age 8); 2 hr.; 1:00–3:00 pm; first Wednesday of every month; 10 person limit. Call 800.448.3883 or e-mail tourinfo@winterthur.org.

 

One Crafty Tour

Bring a few friends for a short tour of select items in the museum, intended to inspire your own creations. Choose from either of two projects: bright, colorful Shrinky Dink pendants or earrings that are inspired by ceramic dishes; or bold pendants made from Sculpey that riff on a type of 18th-century embroidery. All materials are provided. Available Tuesday–Sunday, 2:00–4:00 pm; up to 5 people; 2 hours (45-minutes tour, 75 minutes for crafting); must book at least 1 week in advance; $125 per group. Members discounted. 

 

Private Tour

Ask about our Private Tours and have a custom tour of the house or study a particular aspect of Henry Francis du Pont’s magnificent collection. Reservations required two weeks in advance. Adult; 2 hr.; 5 person limit. **Reservation 2 weeks in advance preferred. Call 800.448.3883 or e-mail tourinfo@winterthur.org.

 

 

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