Conference | The Properly Dressed Window

Posted in books, conferences (to attend) by Editor on February 27, 2018

From Winterthur:

The Properly Dressed Window: Curtain Design Over Time
Winterthur, Wilmington, Delaware, 15–16 May 2018

Join Winterthur staff, visiting scholars, designers, and fellow ‘textilians’ for a two-day program of lectures and hands-on workshops. For information and registration, please call 800.448.3883. Registration opens on February 6, 2018. Read The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles article on curtains at Winterthur.

Sandy Brown, with an introduction by Linda Eaton and a foreword by Thomas Jayne, The Well-Dressed Window: Curtains at Winterthur (New York: The Monacelli Press, 2017), 208 pages, ISBN: 9781580934589, $50.

Today Henry Francis du Pont, the force behind the transformation of Winterthur from a family house to the premier museum of American decorative arts, is recognized, along with Henry Davis Sleeper and Elsie de Wolfe, as one of the early leaders of interior design in this country.

Working with architects, curators, and antiques dealers, du Pont created some 175 room settings within the house. He assembled his rooms using architectural elements from historic houses along the East Coast and filled them with an extraordinary collection of American furniture and decorative arts. Du Pont’s unique talent was his ability to arrange historically related objects in a beautiful way, in settings that enhanced their shape and form through the choice of color, textiles, and style.

Du Pont paid particular attention to the design of the curtains, and The Well-Dressed Window surveys his achievement, explaining how the fabrics were selected as well as their relationship to the architecture and other decorative elements in the rooms. Forty rooms are presented, each specially photographed to show the overall space in addition to details of fabric and trim. A series of stereoviews taken in the 1930s as well as other period photographs reveal the evolution of the window treatments and upholstery over nearly sixty years. Of particular interest is du Pont’s seasonal changing of the curtains, which were rotated throughout the year as the lighting and colors in the surrounding garden shifted.

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