May 7, 2022–January 8, 2023
In 1961, an unusual partnership was formed when one of the youngest First Ladies in American history, Jacqueline Kennedy, appointed a reserved octogenarian collector from Delaware, Henry Francis du Pont, to lead her project to restore the White House interiors. Du Pont brought credibility to Kennedy’s efforts and vision, and her enormous popularity lifted him onto the national stage and validated his life’s work. Together, they transformed the White House from a mere public residence into a museum, and along the way, they engaged with some of the most celebrated interior designers of the 20th century.
For the first time, the story of this historic partnership will be told at Winterthur, the inspiration for Mrs. Kennedy’s project. Through artifacts, archives, and images, this exhibition will invite visitors to experience the behind-the-scenes collaboration between the two during this captivating period in American history. Their partnership culminated in a televised tour of the White House, led by Jacqueline Kennedy, which became the most watched program in American history at that time. The former First Lady will forever be remembered as the person who restored history and beauty to the White House.
Their “restoration” of America’s most famous house became a history lesson for the country and awakened an interest in preservation and interior design that is still felt today.
Enhance Your Visit
Get the most of your visit to Winterthur with these activities, included with your General Admission ticket, which is good for two consecutive days!
Please note: Reservations are required for the guided and self-paced house tours. Guided exhibition tours take place in the exhibition in the galleries.
Take a guided exhibition tour and learn about the friendship between the First Lady and Henry Francis du Pont and their work to restore the White House. Available daily from 1:30-2:00 pm. Drop-in tour, reservations not required.
Take the house tour. Celebrate the Yuletide season with a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. Tour rooms in Henry Francis du Pont’s former home decorated in full holiday splendor. This year’s tour includes several trees inspired by Christmas trees seen at the White House, in conjunction with the exhibition. Many displays are inspired by the traditions and festivities of the season as enjoyed by du Pont and his family.
Enjoy Jackie-themed dining and shopping. Our exhibition pop-up store features items inspired by the White House restoration project and Jackie’s iconic sense of style. For even more unique home décor, gifts, jewelry, and more, visit the Museum Store in the Cottage. When you’re ready for lunch or a snack, get a taste of new items influenced by Jackie’s favorites in our Visitor Center Café.
Explore the galleries and garden. Take a stroll in the world-renowned 60-acre garden or explore one of our walking trails throughout the 1,000-acre estate. And, no visit is complete without our garden tram tour. Our guides share highlights of the garden and the history of Winterthur on this 30-minute narrated tour. Then, head inside to be inspired by the galleries, featuring two floors of the finest examples of American decorative arts.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.