2016 Ward Francillon Time Symposium
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5101 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19735
Mahogany Longcase Clock
by Peter Stretch, Philadelphia,
1735-1746, Winterthur Museum, 2004.51
One of America’s top-rated house museums, Winterthur boasts a premier collection of 90,000 decorative and fine arts objects made or used in this country between 1640 and 1860. Envisioned and created by Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969), the 175-room house presides over a 1,000-acre estate in Delaware’s Brandywine Valley. 60 acres of gardens offer additional delights for visitors throughout the seasons. Nearby are other important museums, gardens and cultural attractions.
H.F. du Pont had a special interest in clocks and timekeeping. He acquired many fine examples for the museum during his lifetime. Since his passing, more clocks have been added to the collection which now numbers more than 100. Within the museum galleries is a faithful reconstruction of the clock and wood-working shop of the Dominy family who worked on Long Island from the mid 1700’s to the mid 1800’s.
Timepieces are in the du Pont genes. Two books -- The Dupont Dynasty by John K. Winkler, and The du Ponts of Delaware by William H.A. Carr -- provide details on the watchmaking history of this French Huguenot family. The 1737 marriage of Anne de Montchanin and Samuel du Pont connected two Paris watchmaking enterprises. Their son, Pierre Samuel, in 1763 presented a gold masterpiece watch to his father, then abandoned the artisan trade for more scholarly pursuits.
This symposium is sponsored and organized by the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, and will be the first at Winterthur to focus exclusively on the museum’s horological holdings. A roster of eminent speakers will address important clocks and watches in the collection, highlighting their makers, regions, craftsmanship, and cultural significance.
Mr. Irenee du Pont has kindly agreed to host our Saturday evening banquet at the exclusive and prestigious Wilmington Country Club.
This conference marks a new chapter in the 30-year history of these annual NAWCC educational events. Beginning this year, they will convene at renowned institutions with important timekeepers, forging new links between those museums and one of the world’s foremost horology associations.
An associated special exhibit of 16 Winterthur clocks not usually on display -- Striking Beauties: American Shelf Clocks & Timepieces -- has been prepared by curators Ann Wagner and Joshua Lane. Your visit should include time in this display.
Public Welcome - Registration Not Limited to NAWCC or Winterthur Members
The symposium was a great success. Please click on "Report" above for a complete summary and photos.