Ever since I visited Winterthur (“Winter-ter”) in mid-summer a few years back, I wanted to return to see the March Bank. I am pleased to report that I finally made it! It was worth the wait to see the thousands of spring-flowering bulbs. Henry Dupont skillfully established an extensive naturalistic garden on this country estate. The March Bank was one of the first garden areas he developed.
Winterthur was one of Henry’s four homes. His others were in Florida, Park Avenue in New York, and the Hamptons. Winterthur was his country estate and he intended for it to become a museum for many years. After discovering American textiles and furniture, Henry built a grand collection of Americana. This is an extensive collection with many unique pieces, including more of George and Martha Washington’s china than their home at Mount Vernon. I forget the number of items in the collection, but I do remember it was astronomical.
Henry Dupont was also intrigued by American architecture, and actually purchased several *rooms* from other buildings and had them installed at Winterthur. This is my favorite room. The wallpaper was handpainted in China and depicts village life there. Ok, it’s not one of the rooms that was brought from elsewhere, but it’s my favorite…
Henry left his other homes to his daughters, but converted Winterthur to a museum while he was still living. He continued to live on the estate, and moved into a smaller home directly across from the museum that was his former mansion.