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 partnership culminated in a televised tour of the White House, led by Jacqueline Kennedy, which became the most watched program in American history. The former First Lady will forever be remembered as the person who restored history and beauty to the White House.
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.
Guided tour begins at the Conservatory. Tuesday-Sunday, 2:00-3:30 pm. Reservations are required, capacity limited. Included with admission. Members free. Please call 800.448.3883 or e-mail email@example.com for information. All visitors must wear a mask on guided house tours.
Phone: (800) 448-3883
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Winterthur, Delaware 19735