The Du Ponts: Houses and Gardens in the Brandywine, 1900-1951

Overview

No American family dominated a single state longer than the du Ponts of Delaware. French immigrants who arrived in America January 1, 1800, the du Ponts became a dynasty of publicity-shy entrepreneurs, engineers, horticulturists, and collectors. They built neighboring houses, gardens, and farms that spanned miles of rolling hills in Delaware's Brandywine Valley and earned the region the sobriquet "Chateau Country." With their fortunes from the DuPont Company, the family pursued many passions, resulting in the ...

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Overview

No American family dominated a single state longer than the du Ponts of Delaware. French immigrants who arrived in America January 1, 1800, the du Ponts became a dynasty of publicity-shy entrepreneurs, engineers, horticulturists, and collectors. They built neighboring houses, gardens, and farms that spanned miles of rolling hills in Delaware's Brandywine Valley and earned the region the sobriquet "Chateau Country." With their fortunes from the DuPont Company, the family pursued many passions, resulting in the exquisite art collections, botanical gardens, and libraries now enjoyed by the American public.

The du Ponts: Houses and Gardens in the Brandywine, 1900-1951, features 25 du Pont family houses and farms, including the celebrated Winterthur, Longwood, and Nemours estates. There are unexpected surprises: Bellevue, a replica of James Madison's Montpelier; Eleutherian Mills, the 19th-century "partnership" house overlooking the Brandywine Creek, resurrected in the 1920s as a colonial mansion with a garden that was considered one of most successful romantic conceits of the 20th century; and Hod House, the "Hodgson" system prefabricated residence built as a summer retreat on 550 acres.

Winterthur Museum's estate historian Maggie Lidz captures the life of the du Ponts at home with hundreds of rare period photographs from private archives and family albums and never before published autochromes, diascopes, and Dufay color images. Frank and Louise Crowninshield, Rodney and Isabella Sharp, and the du Ponts—Henry Francis, Pierre Samuel, and Coleman—all come alive as we visit their country manors, horse farms, and spectacular gardens in the bucolic setting of the Brandywine Valley.

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Editorial Reviews

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The wealthy Du Ponts of Delaware are famously publicity-shy, but no American family has dominated a state as long or as deeply as this demurely elegant Brandywine Valley clan. These descendants of a French Huguenot nobleman translated their affluence into dozens of beautiful landmark country manors, houses, gardens, and farms. Maggie Lidz's lush pictorial coffee-table book draws on hundreds of archival photographs and her expertise as Winterthur Museum historian to showcase the places where the Du Ponts quietly lived, worked, and played.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780926494695
  • Publisher: Acanthus Press
  • Publication date: 9/21/2009
  • Pages: 218
  • Sales rank: 1,371,511
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

As Winterthur Museum full-time historian, Maggie Lidz researches, writes, and lectures about the history of Winterthur, a du Pont family estate that dates back to 1839. Although best known as a museum of American decorative arts, the horticultural and social history of Winterthur have been fertile territory for historical investigation. Lidz’s interest in Winterthur began while in the art history graduate program at the University of Delaware as a student of the eminent architectural historian Damie Stillman. She is the author of Life at Winterthur: a du Pont Family Album (2001).

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