Collectors can pull up a chair at the furniture forum in Winterthur


WINTERTHUR, Del. – Novice and seasoned collectors alike will increase their knowledge, train their eyes, and enhance their ability to analyze the visual and physical characteristics of various periods of furniture at a special three-day seminar at Winterthur, An American Country Estate, March 6-8.

In “Clues for the Connoisseur: Tools and Techniques for Understanding Old Furniture,” Winterthur curators, conservators, and independent consultants will present an easy-to-understand approach to examining antique furniture, step by step.

The seminar includes eight in-depth workshop sessions, from which each participant may choose five.

Guest speakers. Speakers include Winterthur staff members Wendy Cooper, Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil Senior Curator of Furniture; Donald L. Fennimore, senior curator of metals; Charles F. Hummel, curator emeritus; Brock W. Jobe, professor of American decorative arts; Gregory Landrey, director of conservation; and Michael S. Podmaniczky, senior furniture conservator.

Other speakers include Morrison H. Heckscher, Lawrence A. Fleischman, chairman of the American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Carey Howlett, conservator and conservation consultant; Anne McPherson, consultant and private dealer in American decorative arts; Robert D. Mussey, furniture conservator and independent scholar; Sumpter T. Priddy III, furniture historian and dealer; and Jay Steifel, consultant and decorative arts historian.

The seminar includes a preview of The Incredible Elastic Chairs of Samuel Gragg. The exhibition presents the inventive, inspired furniture of Samuel Gragg (1772-1855), who in 1808 patented a remarkable design for the classical-style seating that was in vogue at that time.

The chair design, which he referred to as “elastic,” was fundamentally different from any other contemporary furniture, and the construction techniques used by Gragg were revolutionary. The exhibition is on view March 6 through June 15 and is included with all admission tickets.

The registration fee, which includes all lectures, workshops, lunches, and more, is $750; members, $650. To register call 800-448-3883 or 302-888-4600. For online information, go to

Winterthur is located on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington, Del., and five miles south of US Route 1.


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