One of the places locally that makes a wonderful trip on a nice day is the Winterthur Gardens and House. This reminds me most of an English country home, and the art and antiques displayed are amazing.
One of the parts of the collection that have not been highlighted before are the Native American decorative arts and craft works-acquired by H. F. du Pont. That is being changed in a display beginning on March 1st.
While some of the pieces presented were crafted for Native American use, this exhibition concentrates on items made specifically for trade with early explorers, 18th-century colonists, and 19th- and 20th-century "tourists." Native Americans sold bowls, baskets, and pottery to European colonists. By the 1800s, interest grew in the objects as exotic souvenirs of the supposed "disappearing Indian." By the 1900s, the items were considered decorative arts objects acquired and displayed by collectors.
Because of the way pieces were bought and collected they lost their cultural context, making it easier to see them purely as decorative objects. This exhibition will highlight various tribes, such as the Pequot, Passamaquoddy, Paugussett, and Mi'kmaq.
Cost for Winterthur-known worldwide for its preeminent collection of American decorative arts, naturalistic gardens, and research library for the study of American art and material culture-offers a variety of tours, exhibitions, programs, and activities throughout the year. General admission includes a tour of some of the most notable spaces in the 175-room house, as well as access to the Winterthur Garden and Galleries, special exhibitions, a narrated tram tour (weather permitting), the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens, and the Enchanted Woods children's garden. $18 adults; $16 for students and seniors; $5 for ages 2-11. Tickets are valid for two consecutive days.
Museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday-Sunday. Winterthur, located on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington, Delaware, and five miles south of U.S. Route 1, is closed Mondays (except during Yuletide), Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Winterthur is committed to accessible programming for all. For information, including special services, call 800.448.3883, 302.888.4600, or TTY 302.888.4907, or visit winterthur.org.