By Jim Weaver & Mary Gallagher
Millions of television viewers have watched the British period drama Downton Abbey on public television (PBS) for the past three seasons. If you can’t make it to the UK for an actual visit now there is an opportunity to see many of the exquisite costumes from the series. “Costumes of Downton Abbey,” an original exhibition of fashion designs from the awarding-winning television series, began in March at Delaware’s Winterthur Museum m located in the beautiful and historic Brandywine Valley. The U.S. premiere exhibition will run through January 4, 2015.
Winterthur Director David Roselle says, “Costumes of Downton Abbey will not only showcase authentic designs from the television series, but provide a remarkable educational experience by holding up a mirror to both institutions and societies. We think it’s going to be a real treat.”
A co-production of Carnival Films and Masterpiece, Downton Abbey depicts life in the British household of the fictional Earl and Countess of Grantham and is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed period dramas ever produced. It has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, among many other awards. It was the most watched television series on both ITV and PBS and subsequently became the most successful British costume drama series since the 1981 television serial Brideshead Revisited.
By the third series, it had become one of the most widely watched television shows in the world. The Guinness World Records recognized Downton Abbey as the most critically acclaimed English-language television series of 2011 even if regular viewers are not always happy with the demise of leading actors who decide not to renew their contracts.
Approximately 40 historically accurate costumes from the television show will be displayed in Winterthur’s largest gallery space. The costumes will be supplemented by photographs and vignettes inspired by the fictional program and by real life at Winterthur.
The costumes are lent by Cosprop, the world’s leading costumier to film, television, and theater.
In addition, Winterthur will host a wide range of lectures, workshops, and events, including “Other Downtons,” focusing on aspects of the country house in Britain and the United States. There will be a variety of programs for adults and families focusing on entertaining and country house life. Learn more at winterthur.org.
Winterthur — known worldwide for its preeminent collection of American decorative arts, naturalistic gardens, and research library for the study of American art and material culture — offers a variety of tours, exhibitions, programs, and activities throughout the year.
Every time we have visited Winterthur it’s included another tour of the gardens which were designed for year round viewing. In addition to daily tours special tours are offered the second Saturday of each month at 1pm (unless otherwise noted). you can join Winterthur’s horticulture staff for these garden walks highlighting interesting and seldom seen parts of the Winterthur landscape. Walks begin at the Visitor Center.
May 10 Azaleas and Spring Wildflowers
June 14 (8:00 pm) Meadows, Streams, and Ponds (bring your flashlight)
July 12 (8:00 pm) Chimney Swifts on Farm Hill (bring your flashlight)
August 9 (7:00 pm) Sunset from the Train Station (bring your flashlight and prepare for a long walk)
September 13 Garden Architecture and Water Features
October 11 Autumn Color, Flowers, and Fruits
November 8 Late Fall Color in the Garden
December 13 Conifers and the Winter Garden
Learn fascinating, little-known details about the estate with our horticulture staff. Dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walk lasts about 90 minutes. Members free. Included with admission. In case of inclement weather, an update message will be left at 302.888.4915 after 10:00 am on the day of the walk.
To help you visit the Brandywine Valley pick up a Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport.
Each Passport yields big savings on 11 top Brandywine Valley attractions that you are sure to want to see with discounted admission to both locals and visitors.
The combination ticket is good for one-time admission to each of 11 attractions between May 24 and
September 1, 2014.
- Brandywine River Museum
- Delaware Art Museum
- Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts
- Delaware Historical Society
- Delaware Museum of Natural Histroy
- Hagley Museum and Library
- Longwood Gardens
- Mt. Cuba Center
- Nemours Mansion & Gardens
- Rockwood Mansion & Park
- Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
– Individual Passport: $45
– Family Passport: $95
(includes 2 adults and 3 children