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THINGS TO DO IN DELAWARE

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Jacqueline Kennedy and H. F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House Museums and History

In 1961, an unusual partnership was formed when the youngest First Lady in American history, Jacqueline Kennedy, appointed a reserved octogenarian collector from Delaware, Henry Francis du Pont, to lead her project to restore the White House interiors. Du Pont brought credibility to Kennedy’s efforts and vision, and her enormous popularity lifted him onto the national stage and validated his life’s work. Together, they transformed the White House from a mere public residence into a museum, and along the way, they engaged with some of the most celebrated interior designers of the 20th century.

For the first time, the story of this historic partnership will be told at Winterthur, the inspiration for Mrs. Kennedy’s project. Through artifacts, archives, and images, this exhibition will invite visitors to experience the behind-the-scenes collaboration between the two during this captivating period in American history. Their “restoration” of America’s most famous house became a history lesson for the country and awakened an interest in preservation and interior design that is still felt today.

The exhibition is on view through January 8, 2022. Winterthur is closed on Mondays from March through md-November.

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