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Winterthur is Free on the Fourth!
Museum Offers Free July 4 Admission to Celebrate Opening Day of Silversmiths to the Nation Exhibition
Winterthur (May 30, 2008)
Winterthur, DE —May 30, 2008— Independence Day will be celebrated in sterling style at Winterthur Museum & Country Estate with “Free on the 4th” admission offered to all visitors in honor of opening day of its newest exhibition, Silversmiths to the Nation: Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, 1808–1842. The landmark exhibition, on view at Winterthur July 4–September 21, is the first ever to focus solely on the work of the Philadelphia silversmith firm, and will feature more than 100 objects created by Fletcher & Gardiner, many of which highlight significant patriotic themes. The “Free on the 4th” offer provides complimentary Gardens & Galleries admission to all Winterthur visitors on July 4, a $15 value. Tours of the Winterthur mansion will be available for a $5 fee. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy the summer beauty of the Winterthur Garden. The exhibition, curated by Donald L. Fennimore, Winterthur curator emeritus, and Ann K. Wagner, associate curator of decorative arts at Winterthur, premiered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art late last year to great critical acclaim. Among the highlights in the Silversmiths to the Nation exhibition: A monumental silver urn awarded to Captain Isaac Hull of the frigate Constitution, the firm’s first military presentation commission A selection of swords, medals, commemorative works, and military memorabilia An extensive array of household and personal items including tea sets, pitchers, dinner services, a candelabrum, vases, and flatware that represent the quantity and variety of their stylish designs
Supporting EventsA symposium, “American Silver of the Early 19th Century,” will be held September 5–6 in conjunction with the exhibition. The symposium will address topics such as the European goldsmithing tradition, luxury goods in early 19th-century England, American jewelry of the 19th century, and early 19th- century Philadelphia silver and silversmiths. The cost is $340, $295 for Winterthur Members and professionals working for nonprofit organizations; and $225 for students. A Silversmith Family Day event featuring live demonstrations, stories, crafts, and educational opportunities will take place on September 6, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Winterthur Galleries.
About Fletcher & Gardiner“Fletcher & Gardiner were the pre-eminent silversmiths in America in the early 19th century, as famous then as Tiffany & Company is today,” said Fennimore. “They were renowned for their dramatic presentation pieces for civic and military heroes. Their style was distinctly American, and their stylish household silver and jewelry was in demand from customers throughout the United States.” Fletcher and Gardiner began their careers in Boston in 1808 and moved to Philadelphia three years later. The firm remained in business until 1842, and they established a national reputation by virtue of several exceptional commissions, notably many celebratory objects created to commemorate War of 1812 events. They were also at the forefront in driving dramatic changes in the American silversmith’s workshop. Their talent and ambitions, coupled with increasing demands for dramatic high-quality silver, led to the firm adopting improved manufacturing techniques as well as innovative artistry.
CatalogueA catalogue of the exhibition, featuring essays by Fennimore and Wagner as well as other noted scholars including Deborah D. Waters (Museum of the City of New York), Cathy Matson (University of Delaware), and Beth Carver Wees (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), published by the Antique Collector’s Club, retails for $95.
Future VenueFollowing its appearance at Winterthur, Silversmiths to the Nation will travel to The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida, where it will be on display November 21, 2008–January 11, 2009. Principal financial support for the exhibition has been provided by Dr. Richard C. Weiss and Dr. Sandra R. Harmon-Weiss, The Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the William Cullen Bryant Fellows of The Metropolitan Museum of New York. Additional financial support was provided by The Americana Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Bressler, Mr. H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., Friends of Winterthur, Inc., Mr. Denison H. Hatch, Mr. Robert L. McNeil, Jr. and the Roy J. Zuckerberg Family Foundation. # # # Winterthur Museum & Country Estate—known worldwide for its preeminent collection of American antiques, naturalistic garden, and research library for the study of American art and material culture—offers a variety of tours, exhibitions, programs, and activities throughout the year. Winterthur has been named one of the country’s “10 great places of historic proportions” by USA Today and “one of the 10 grandest mansions in America” by Budget Travel. The “Winterthur Experience” ($20 for adults; $18 for students and seniors; $10 for ages 2–11) includes one guided Discovery Tour of the mansion or garden as well as access to the Galleries, special exhibitions, the garden, a narrated tram tour (weather permitting), the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens, and Enchanted Woods (the children’s garden). Additional tours may be added for $5; tickets are valid for two consecutive days. A Garden & Galleries Pass for self-guided tours is also available ($15 for adults; $13 for students and seniors; $5 for ages 2–11). Museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Winterthur, located on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington, Delaware, and five miles south of U.S. Route 1, is closed Mondays (except holidays and during Yuletide), Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Winterthur is committed to accessible programming for all. For information, including special services, call 800.448.3883, 302.888.4600, or TTY 302.888.4907. Online, visit winterthur.org. Media Contact: Vicki Saltzman Sr. Communications Manager Marketing & Communications Winterthur Museum & Country Estate Winterthur, DE 19735 302.888.4803 email@example.com