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Henry F. du Pont and Winterthur: A Daughter`s Portrait pdf download

Ruth Lord: Henry F. du Pont and Winterthur: A Daughter`s Portrait

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Editorial Reviews Amazon.com Review Henry F. du Pont, or Harry, as he was commonly known, was something of a pack rat. Luckily, he had exacting taste and meticulously documented his vast collection of antiques, furniture, and beautiful things. The son of the wealthy senator and Civil War hero Henry Algernon du Pont, Harry spent his early years floundering around in school, struggling both with academics and athletics, and found few, if any, pursuits at which he excelled. After graduating from Harvard with a less-than-stellar academic record, Harry moved back home to Delaware. There, for lack of anything better to do, he began to manage the family's vast estate, which included sprawling gardens and even bigger cattle farms. Soon du Pont found his métier. He and his wife established four majestic homes--one each in Manhattan; Southampton; Boca Grande, Florida; and, most famously, Winterthur, Delaware--which they filled with their ever-expanding collection of antiques, art, carpets, and sundry knickknacks. Du Pont took immense pleasure in every detail of domestic life--carrying on a decades-long correspondence with a linens purveyor, for example, in which the two discussed every possible minutia of stitching and quilting, and carefully overseeing the choice of flowers, china, and even doilies for household luncheons. In 1931, du Pont decided to share his passion with the public and dedicated his beloved Winterthur as a museum. After doubling its size to house all of its holdings, the museum opened in 1951. Du Pont did not stop there. He chaired the committee to save the Cooper Union Museum (now the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design) and helped Jacqueline Kennedy redecorate the White House. This affectionate biography, written by the du Ponts' daughter, Ruth, offers an intimate view of one of the century's great cultural philanthropists. --Anna Baldwin From Publishers Weekly Lord's touching memoir centers on the fabulously wealthy father she hardly knew, who was, by turns, mild-mannered and imperious. Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) was a collector of Americana and the founder of the Winterthur Museum near Wilmington, Del., which opened in 1951 on a site that was originally his home and whose decorative arts and lavish gardens continue to be a national treasure. When Henry, a solitary, inhibited Harvard student, lost his mother at age 22, his emotional devastation led to his decision to "give up feeling." After 14 years of bachelorhood, his marriage in 1916 to the vivacious Ruth Wales (the author's mother) helped him rejoin the human race. But Henry, by this account, remained an aloof, controlling parent. Lord draws on letters, journals, family archives and interviews with relatives to fashion an unusually candid family portrait. Her gallery of the du Pont clan reaches well beyond her immediate forebears, extending from French aristocrat/economist/political theorist Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) to Delaware gunpowder magnate Eleuthere Ir?n?e du Pont (d. 1834), to the author's pompous, irritable grandfather Henry Algernon du Pont, a Civil War hero. Her portrait of du Pont also includes his 1961-1962 collaboration with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to restore the White House's 1802 interior design, as well as his successful campaign to save New York's Cooper Union Museum. Lord successfully mingles tart wit, honest introspection and filial concern as she reaches the conclusion that the Winterthur "represented for [her father] a surrogate son.. - a surrogate son." Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. See all Editorial Reviews

World renowned for its vast woodland gardens, its 175-room house, and its unrivaled collection of American decorative arts, Winterthur in Delaware is today among the most beloved museums in the United States. In its earlier days Winterthur was the family home where Ruth du Pont Lord grew up and where her father, Henry E du Pont (1880-1969), envisioned and then brought to fruition his great museum of Americana.In this memoir, Ruth Lord engagingly describes the development of Henry F. du Pont from a shy, lonely child, a seemingly hopeless student who had bad times at school, to a man who went on to achieve singular distinction in three disparate fields -- as art connoisseur, horticulturist, and eminent cattle breeder. Based on her personal experience, and on extraordinary family archives, the author provides a behind-the-scenes view of the legendary lifestyle of the du Pont family, brings to life other family members, including her brilliant mother and irrepressible aunt, Louise Crowninshield, and tells of her father's many additional activities, which culminated in his leadership role in Jacqueline Kennedy's White House restoration.

Rating:

4,5 / 5

 


  • ISBN-10: 0300070748
  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First edition (March 11, 1999)

  • File size: 3,5MB

     
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