On October 9 and 10, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library will hold Chic It Up!, its 5th annual design conference. With a focus on interior design of the 1960s, this exceptional conference has a new format this year and will be featuring lectures from some of the nation’s top design experts as well as fascinating workshops in the museum, house tours, and a cocktail reception.
Chic It Up! kicks off with a sold-out tour of two Brandywine Valley houses that exemplify 1960s design: Patterns and the Big Bend. Patterns is the private residence of Governor and Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont and was designed in 1967 by Chicago’s I. W. Colburn, who was the AIA Architect of the Year in 1960. The Big Bend is the home of George A. (“Frolic”) Weymouth, painter and founder of Brandywine Conservancy and the Brandywine River Museum. The dining room in this 1750s farmhouse is one of the earliest rooms in America still in use and appeared in Thomas Jayne’s Finest Rooms in America (Random House, 2010). The tour will be followed by a cocktail party at one of the region’s most beautiful homes.
Lecture topics for this year’s Chic It Up! are as intercontinental as the jet set. James Archer Abbott, Director and Curator of the Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen Museum & Library in Baltimore, will address Jackie Kennedy’s Francophile tendencies and Stéphane Boudin’s role in the White House restoration in his lecture “In a Perfect World: Maison Jansen, Monarchical Finery, and the Modern Century.” Decorator and author Adam Lewis will lecture on Billy Baldwin, the “Dean of American Decorating,” and Mitchell Owens of Architectural Digest will present “Youthquake! High Style in the Swinging Sixties.” Finally, design and decorative arts historian Emily Evans Eerdmans will speak on “Madeleine Castaing and le style Malmaison.”
Participants will then be treated to captivating workshops and behind-the-scenes tours of Winterthur, led by museum experts. These sessions will focus on the various aspects of H. F. du Pont as tastemaker--from his choices in window treatments to the design and decoration if his last house, a favorite of Diana Vreeland.
The 1960s were an important time for H. F. du Pont and Winterthur. When Jackie Kennedy decided to restore the White House, she chose du Pont to chair what became known as the Fine Arts Committee of the White House because, she stated, “Without him on the Committee I didn’t think we would accomplish much--and with him I knew there would be no criticism.” With his acceptance of the White House appointment, du Pont became the Age of Camelot’s official arbiter of taste.
Don’t miss this opportunity to explore H. F. du Pont’s most pivotal decade with exceptional design experts and authors. For a list of speakers and times, visit winterthur.org/CIU.