I am blessed to live in two major metropolitan areas where I can easily visit some spectacular museum exhibits, but if you are like me, there are always more exhibits that you wish you could have seen, but couldn't get to, or didn't know about.
Recently, while browsing the Winterthur Museum website I saw that they have online exhibits providing additional resources on their special exhibitions. Winterthur, in Delaware, is the premier museum of American decorative arts. Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, it holds over 90,000 objects made or used in the United States between 1640 and 1860. The collection is housed in the du Pont family home and has tons of online resources for researchers.
"Who's Your Daddy" was an exhibit that ran from October 4, 2008 through May 17, 2009 and explores family relationships in needlework. The exhibit includes samplers, gorgeous knit purses and even scraps of fabric from Martha Washington's dresses. The online exhibit includes a short video providing information about select pieces in the Winterthur collection and an exhibit catalog. I wish the catalog was a little better quality--maybe it is if you print it out, but I couldn't enlarge the photos to see the details. Even so, the text was fascinating--and I enjoyed the video. I'd be grateful for any links people may have to other online exhibits around the world. It is a great way to get to know a collection, even if you can't visit right away.
Also, exciting news for all the Downton Abby fans! March 1, 2013 through January 24, 2015 Winterthur is showcasing an exhibit of 40 Downton Abbey dresses. If you are like me and watch primarily to see what Lady Mary and Edith will wear next (I literally was hyperventilating at some of the hats from the first season), it is not to be missed. Let's hope they have a corresponding online exhibit in the future. My husband wants us to take a holiday this year. I wonder if I can persuade him that Delaware is the place he wants to be?!