Online Exhibitions

Explore more of Winterthur’s collections, past exhibitions, and digital collaborations with other institutions through these online exhibitions.

Erica Wilson

Erica Wilson (1928-2011) was arguably the most successful embroidery designer, teacher, and entrepreneur in America during the second half of the twentieth century. Her highly successful business included books, kits, a television program, and retail shops. Erica’s presence as the expert on all things needlework was larger-than-life, and her embroidery designs were well suited to the sensibilities of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. This exhibition explores the life and work of Erica through a selection of objects from the Winterthur Museum collection and from Erica’s family.

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Re-Presenting Black Womanhood

Highlighting objects from the Winterthur collection, this exhibition invites visitors to engage with stories that celebrate Black women and confront racial and gender stereotypes. These objects highlight the creativity, ingenuity, and complex lives of their creators. Phillis Wheatley, Rachel Ann Lee, Lavinia Craig Casper, and Freda de Knight excelled in their roles as writers, mothers, daughters, chefs, homeowners, entrepreneurs, and students. Yet, each of these women challenged anti-black stereotypes that permeated their worlds and their lives. Who were these women? What were the prevailing stereotypes they each faced? How are cultural institutions and artists confronting these representations today? Museum collections, like those at Winterthur, offer opportunities to honor Black women and to honestly address objects that reinforce negative representations.

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The Dominy collections at Winterthur tell the story of three generations of craftsmen in East Hampton, New York between 1762 and 1852. The Dominy family made and repaired furniture, clocks, watches, and a wide variety of farm and household equipment for their family and neighbors. This extraordinary collection of tools and furniture, demonstrate craftwork and community at a time when Americans were finding their places as citizens of the new republic and participants in a young, dynamic, industrializing economy.

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The Diligent Needle: Instrument of Profit, Pleasure, and Ornament

Needlework has historically been central to a young woman’s education. The Diligent Needle features the plain and fancy sewing of skilled young women. This exhibition was curated by Linda Eaton and was on view in the Winterthur Galleries from August 2014 to July 2015.

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Truths of the Trade

Students and staff at Winterthur continually revisit the collection to ask new questions and imagine the stories these objects can tell. During the 2017-2018 academic year, graduate students had the opportunity to consider the relationship of slavery and racism to objects in the Winterthur collection. Exploring themes of commerce, consumption, and control, the exhibition presented here invites you to ponder the multiple meaning of objects and the powerful impact of slavery.

Truths of the Trade explores the dual themes of the Atlantic trade, fueled by slavery, that shaped early American material culture, as well as the modern trade of curating and the ways we can tell new stories with old objects. This exhibition was on view in Winterthur’s Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery from May 5 to August 5, 2018.

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Double cabinet of island mahogany and English oak.

Lasting Impressions

Sparked by the gift of an important collection of Currier & Ives prints to Winterthur, Lasting Impressions: the Artists of Currier & Ives highlights the contributions of Frances Bond Palmer and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, two of the most prolific artists who worked for this iconic publisher of Americana in the nineteenth-century. The exhibition was on display in the Winterthur Galleries from September 17, 2016 to January 8, 2017.

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Currier & Ives image depicting a race between 3 steamboats.

Treasures on Trial

Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes reveals the beguiling tales of over 40 forgeries and counterfeit objects of all types. This exhibition poses the questions: Do we see what we think we see? Is it real or fake? On display in the Winterthur Galleries from April 1, 2017 to January 7, 2018, the exhibition is now available online for all to enjoy.

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Knoedler Rothko painting featuring a black area and a red area

Made for the Trade

Native Americans have been making objects to trade and sell to non-Native groups for hundreds of years. This exhibition features a selection of these objects from the Winterthur Collection including baskets, bowls, and even knitting sheathes. The exhibition was on display in the Winterthur Galleries from March 2011 to September 2012 and is now available digitally.

See the exhibition.

Native American craft work

Collecting for the Future: Recent Additions to the Winterthur Collection

This exhibition features an eclectic selection of recent additions to the collection, examined through the lenses of four museum collecting policies that motivated the acquisition of these items. “Tools for Teaching” features diverse items that aid Winterthur educational mission. “The Stuff of Global Life” examines objects forged through global exchange. “Representing America’s Diversity” highlights objects made by free African Americans. “Reinvention and Reuse” investigates the layered history of “altered” objects. As you explore the exhibition, you will encounter fascinating objects that reshape our understanding of American history. Each one is a welcome addition to the Winterthur collection.

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People Make the Place: Valuing Our Volunteers

Whatever your reason for coming to Winterthur, volunteers have applied their talent and energy to make your experience here memorable. Teen interns recently interviewed a few of these behind-the-scenes individuals to learn more about the important roles they play throughout the estate. The resulting portraits highlight the fervent dedication of each person. They are what truly make Winterthur special.

See the exhibition.

volunteer portraits montage

Shall We Dance? Three Centuries of Dance in America

Step out on the virtual dance floor and enjoy this celebration of social dancing in America from the early 1700s through the mid-1900s.  Using the 2006 Winterthur Galleries show as a springboard, this online exhibition features additional library and museum objects.

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Silhouette of Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers

The Winterthur Library Revealed: Five Centuries of Design and Inspiration

Experience the treasures of Winterthur Library in this virtual exhibition based on the 2004 Galleries show.  Books, manuscripts, drawings, photographs, and printed ephemera, supplemented with museum objects, document the library’s evolution from a du Pont family collection into a world-renowned repository and its role in decorative arts scholarship.

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illustration of book case

Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience

This path-breaking exhibition charts objects and imagery related to America’s historical fascination with maps.   Created by Martin Brückner, Professor in English and American Literature at the University of Delaware, Common Destinations was displayed in the Winterthur Galleries from April 2013 to January 2014.  It features over 100 Winterthur library and museum objects as well as loans from other collections.

See the exhibition.

hinged world globe with flat map interior

Boston Furniture at Winterthur

BOSTON. The name brings to mind Beacon Hill, baked beans, and the Red Sox—but perhaps not antique furniture. Yet during its early history, Boston attracted many of the finest woodworking craftsmen in America. Perched on a strip of land jutting into Massachusetts Bay, the flourishing seaport depended on artisans to build ships, homes, and furniture...

Read more and view the video.

boston furniture archive logo

The Flowering of American Tinware

Selections from Winterthur’s superb collection of painted and decorated early American tinware are on display in our galleries (May 2013 – January 2014) and now are online for the first time.  This pocket-sized exhibition highlights the origins of this specialized craft as well as artistic techniques for decorating and practices still in use today.

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Green Amish rocking cradle with flower design

The Daniel & Serga Nadler Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain

Virtually experience the Winterthur Galleries display that was unveiled in November 2012 to honor the promised gift of an important collection of Chinese export porcelain. Wares made in the 1700s and 1800s for consumers in Britain, America, and Continental Europe are featured as well as porcelain for Indian and other Islamic markets.

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ceramic plate with chinese pastoral scene

Uncorked! Wine, Objects & Tradition

Winterthur’s major exhibition is available online in permanent form. Uncorked! presents a fascinating and incredibly broad range of wine-related materials—from wineglasses and cellarettes to song sheets and paintings—and, in total, includes more than 300 objects from the Winterthur collections and promised gifts.

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ceramic bowl bacchanalia

Who’s Your Daddy: Families in Early American Needlework

View a Web cast featuring curator Linda Eaton discussing many of the items from this exhibition, which was composed of Winterthur collection objects and was on view at Winterthur October 4, 2008, to August 17, 2009. A PDF of the gallery guide also offers an in-depth look at exhibition highlights.

See the exhibition.

whos your daddy lead image

Patriotic America

Winterthur joins the Transferware Collectors Club and Historic New England in making available the online exhibition Patriotic America. It serves as the definitive database of early English printed pottery with mid 19th-century images celebrating the new United States. The objects are drawn from a broad range of collections.

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printed pottery US Capitol building

Spode Exhibition

Launched in October 2010, this interactive exhibition is a comprehensive resource for the study of the printed designs of Spode ceramics, focusing on the blue printed patterns of Spode c. 1784–1833, the family history and business, and life in the Staffordshire Potteries of that period.

See the exhibition.

spode plate pastoral scene

Find out more about Winterthur's Online Collections.

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