Winterthur Museum, Delaware, USA

Winterthur Museum in March 2013

The Winterthur Museum is situated in the Brandyvine Valley in Delaware and belonged to Henry Francis du Pont, a famous collector mostly of Amercian decorative arts. At Winterthur, you can admire the finest in furniture, ceramics, metalwork, glass, paintings, and of course - textiles. Henry Francis du Pont loved the fabrics, the colours and the history of the textiles he collected and used them to decorate beds and walls in his residences. What makes us quilters today shudder, however, is his practice of cutting up these precious pieces to re-upholster furniture!

Gardens at Winterthur

The gardens are beautiful even in March - imagine how breathtaking they must be when everything is in bloom...

While the museum owns all kinds of quilts, e. g. pieced and appliquéd quilts, it is extraordinary to contemplate its huge selection of wholecloth quilts. Quilts can be seen throughout the museum as they are cleverly decorated on the beds as they would have been when Henry Francis du Pont was still staying at Winterthur.

The 175 rooms can only seen through guided tours while the galleries are open to be explored at the guest's own pace. A part of the museum's quilt collection can also be viewed online:

If you'd like to learn more about the museum's quilt collection, we strongly recommend the book "Quilts in a material world" by Linda Eaton who is also the museum's curator of textiles and director of collections. Should you have difficulties to procure the book, let us know. We will be happy to help.

Address and contact information:


5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)

Winterthur, DE 19735


The entrance


or access basic information (opening hours etc.) at our Textile Destinations: Winterthur Museum

Our opinion:

We visited the Winterthur Museum in March 2013 and would recommend to take at least half a day to enjoy the museum building. The museum's collection especially of wholecloth quilts is simply breathtaking. Add at least another half day to explore the extensive grounds and do visit the museum shops. Especially the shop at the entrance is well worth a visit - and take your time to browse the shops excellent selection of books on textiles and textile techniques.

Besides, there are VERY TENTATIVE plans to include Winterthur in our next year's trip to the USA. The "very tentative" refers to whether we will offer another trip or not - if we go on tour next year, we will definitely visit Winterthur!