Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 PAPER DOLL CONVENTION Email #9: Art and Americana

Andrew Wyeth. Maga's Daughter, 1966, tempera


This email blast is based on one of Garth Lax’s emails from 2011. It was so well done, I only had to verify & update a few things and run with it!
— Valerie Keller


On US 1, in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is a Museum housed in a converted 19th Century grist mill. It's a 20 mile, or 30 minute, drive from your Convention Hotel, and if you like the art of the Wyeths, you're going to love this Museum.

As luck would have it, right now there is a retrospective of the works of Andrew Wyeth that will be on display during our convention.

The Brandywine River Museum has an extensive collection of works by the Wyeth family - - N.C., Andrew, and Jamie - -  as well as works by Brandywine school founder Howard Pyle and students including Maxfield Parrish, as well as paintings by American illustrators Charles Dana Gibson, Rockwell Kent and others. Other works include 19th-century landscapes, still lifes and interior scenes by artists including Jasper Cropsey, George Cope and Jefferson David Chalfant.

The Museum is open every day from 9:30 to 5:00.
Admission is $18 for Adults, and $15 for Seniors (65+).

But there's more.

The house where N.C. Wyeth raised his extraordinarily creative children and the studio in which he painted many of his memorable works of art have been restored to reflect their character in 1945, the year of the artist's death. Educational tours departing from the museum are offered at timed intervals daily; $8 per person in addition to museum admission.

And there's a second tour!

For more than 70 years, the Kuerner Farm was a major source of inspiration to Andrew Wyeth. Since his earliest painting of the farm in 1932 at the age of 15, Wyeth had found subjects in its people, animals, buildings and landscapes for more than 1,000 works of art. Many of Wyeth's best-known works of art emerged from his long fascination with the farm, including Winter 1946 (1946), Groundhog Day (1959), Evening at Kuerners (1970), Young Bull (1960), Spring Fed (1967), and Overflow (1978). Reproductions of these works are viewed on the tour, along with parts of the house, barn and property to demonstrate how Wyeth altered the physical details of a site in order to communicate a particular idea. 

Educational tours departing from the museum are offered at timed intervals. Wednesday through Sunday. $5 per person in addition to museum admission. Due to uneven walking surfaces, the Kuerner Farm is not accessible to disabled individuals.


About 7 miles from the Brandywine River Museum is the world's finest collection of Americana and American Decorative Arts.

Winterthur, the former residence of Henry Francis Dupont, has nearly 200 period rooms, all purchased or salvaged from actual houses. The rooms, which range in date from 1640 to 1840, are completely furnished with paintings, silver, pewter, glassware, textiles, and ceramics. For example:

A room taken from a 1680s house in Massachusetts displays plain pine tables and chairs, along with a carved oak cupboard.  The 1733 Readbourne Parlor from Maryland's Eastern Shore has a chest from Boston painted to resemble Chinese lacquerwork, a tea table and chairs from Philadelphia, and a painting by John Wollaston.

There are rooms taken from homes in Maryland and Upstate New York.  There is a breathtakingly beautiful 1822 Montmorenci staircase from North Carolina; a Charleston, South Carolina room with Chippendale furniture; and a room of Empire-style furniture by Duncan Phyfe.

Every room is different, and there's a surprise around every corner.

Winterthur is a little pricier than other venues we describe, but well worth it. You will never see anything like it anywhere else - - because there is nothing like it anywhere else!!

The General Admission price is $20 for Adults; $18 for Seniors (62+). The Admission includes access to the gardens, a garden tram tour, the Galleries and special exhibitions, and an Introductory Tour of the array of period rooms on the 5th and 6th floors.  If, in addition to the Introductory Tour, you'd like a 1 or 2 hour guided tour, they are available for an additional fee (make reservations at 1-800-448-3883 or 302.888.4600 (TTY 302.888.4907).

All Tour packages include the Library (wait 'til you see what's there!) because the Library is free.

Winterthur admission tickets are honored for two consecutive days so if you prefer, you could visit the House on one day and return the next day for the Library and Gardens.

The Museum (the House) and Gardens are open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM - 5 PM. Last tour is at 3:15 PM.  The Library is open Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

Winterthur has two places where you can lunch:
– The Cottage Café, in the museum store, features baked goods, smoothies, sandwiches, soups, salads, fresh fruit, gourmet coffee, and wine. The Cottage Café provides inside seating for 20 and additional seating on the adjacent patio.  Open Tues.-Sun. 10am-4pm

– Visitor Center Garden Café, boasting a great view of the gardens, is located in the Visitor Center Pavillion, and features: entrees, including the chef's action stations, pressed panini, and an extensive salad bar; as well as a la carte options including soups, desserts, and more. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10-4.

Winterthur is at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur DE 19735, (For in-car GPS or online maps, use 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE  19807.)

Did I mention the Paper Dolls ??

Winterthur has one of the truly great Paper Doll Collections - - the Maxine Waldron Collection of Children’s Books and Paper Toys. The paper doll collection is so extensive that the items do not have individual catalog records, but are arranged in categories - - Handmade Dolls,  Servicemen,  Advertising Dolls (including trade cards), Greeting cards, Miscellaneous (Movie Stars, Dolly Dingle, etc.),  3-D (including pantins),  Uncut Dolls, Furniture and Buildings (but not Toy Theaters - - though see below), and Oversized.

So what specifically can you see? 

How about an embroidered chenille and paper dress trimmed with gold, dating from about 1750?  No doll, but, oh what a costume!

How about handmade paper booklets - - Overlays, including one called "Coiffures"?

How about La Petite Psyche, plus three other Psyches? Wait ’til you see them - - dolls, costumes, hats, boxes, little mirrors!

How about an 1840 piece - - doll, six costumes, hat - - believed to be of young Queen Victoria?

What would you think of the famed "National Costumes" - - the Anson Randolph family?

How about Jenny Lind, or Tom Thumb?

Perhaps some of the great European paper dolls - - Brave Boy, Boy and Girl, the Virtuous Girl, or the Greatest and Most Beautiful Doll ??

Those are just a few that I know are in there. I can't begin to describe all the treasures that will be revealed before your eyes. 

Above, I noted that Toy Theaters were not in the Waldron Paper Doll Collection.  However, the Paper Toys and Games collections are fascinating as well, and contain such rarities as:  Peep Shows depicting Garden Parties, Model Villages, a Farmyard, and exotic places, Victorian Theater sets, complete with stages, props, and characters, A Roll Panorama, made by Milton Bradley in the late 1800s

Board Games, such as The Circle of Knowledge, an 1818 copy of Newton's New Game of Virtue Rewarded and Vice Punished, and an 1840 German geography lottery game.  All these are in the Archives in the Library, open M-F, 8:30-4:30. Note that the Museum (House) is open Tuesday-Sunday, so plan accordingly if you wish to see both. Again, the Winterthur tickets are valid for two consecutive days.

Now - - the Winterthur Librarian needs at least a week’s advance notice if you want to see some of this incredible collection. To make an appointment, contact Jeanne Solensky, Librarian at the Winterthur Library.  The library’s address and phone number:
5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE 19735.  302-888-4853

It’s an extensive collection, so it would help if you have some ideas about what you most want to see.  Jeanne Solensky provided a link to a written inventory of what is in the Maxine Waldron collection and wrote, “The paper dolls are in Series II and arranged by category.”

To get a glimpse of some items from the collection, there have been articles written for the Winterthur blog:

There is so much to see at Winterthur, from the extensive landscaped gardens to special exhibits to guided tours; you definitely want to do some research!  To see the “Plan Your Visit” page for more ideas:


If you'd like to eat lunch other than at Winterthur, here are two options (recommended enthusiastically by Marion Creamer in 2011!):

Hank's Place:
Hank's Place is a nice, casual restaurant at the intersection of US 1 and Route 100.  It serves soups, salads, and has a wide variety of sandwiches.

The Gables at Chadds Ford:
For a higher level of ambiance and excellent food, you might try The Gables at Chadds Ford.  The Gables is located in a converted 1800s dairy barn, and boasts a simple though elegant setting.  The menu offers a contemporary twist on American cuisine, using French and Asian influences. For lunch, the Gables offers Soups and Salads, Hot Entrees ranging from Jambalaya to crab cake sandwiches to Petit filet, as well as a Fish du Jour and a Quiche du Jour. It's located on US 1 between Route 100 and Route 52.

August 9 - 13, 2017
Airport Embassy Suites, 9000 Bartram Ave., Philadelphia, PA






[  ]  Registration:  $295
[  ]  Absentee Registration (Souvenirs):  $100.00 USD  
[  ]  Guest Registration (3 Meals/No souvenirs) $150.00

GUEST NAME:__________________________________________

Make checks payable/mail to: Linda Ocasio
                                                96 Minell Place
                                                Teaneck, NJ 07666

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