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 riches 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 feautures 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 Hod system
prefabricated residence built as a summer retreat on 550 acres.
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.