Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969)

Henry F. duPont, Farmer & Collector, of "Winterthur" Delaware

Associated Houses

Chestertown House




He was born at the family home, Winterthur, at New Castle, Delaware. He was educated at Groton School in Massachusetts, where not being an academic he struggled before going on to study horticulture at Harvard's Bussey Institution. On graduating, he returned to his beloved Winterthur where his father gave him management of the 2,500-acre estate. He identified himself as a farmer and bred Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle - becoming one of the country's leading breeders. Influenced by Beauport, he developed a passion for Americana and completed Chestertown House in the same year that he inherited Winterthur. From 1926 until his death in 1969, he expanded Winterthur from a 30-room home to 175-room museum dedicated to his passion for Americana, particularly American furniture. In 1951, it was incorporated as the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate. It currently displays 89,000 items and is recognized as the world's premier collection of American Decorative Arts. Between 1961 and 1963, he helped First Lady Jackie Kennedy redecorate the White House and in 1964 he became the first recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award from the American Society of Interior Designers. In 1916, at Hyde Park, New York, he married Ruth Wales and had two daughters. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 16/08/2019 and last updated on 22/04/2020.