WHEELING - The PBS mega-hit Masterpiece series Downton Abbey is one of the most widely watched television shows in the world. Critics are raving about and audiences are captivated by the plot, characters, romance and, of course, the costumes.
Area residents have an opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes look at some of the exquisite fashions from Downton Abbey during a study travel trip to Winterthur, the premier museum of American decorative arts, located in Wilmington, Delaware.
The two-day, one night trip, presented by the Museums of Oglebay Institute includes round-trip transportation, two-day admission to Winterthur, admission to the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit, a private, guide tour of Winterthur that is specially designed for study travel guests, overnight accommodations at the landmark Hotel du Pont, free time to explore the house, gardens and grounds and a Downton afternoon tea buffet at Winterthur.
Oglebay Institute is hosting a study travel trip to Delaware Nov. 8-9 to visit the Winterthur museum, featuring the Costumes of Downton Abbey, an original exhibit of exquisite designs from the award-winning TV series.
The trip introduces guests to Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) - the premier museum of American decorative arts displayed in the magnificent 175-room home of Henry Francis du Pont.
Winterthur’s 1,000 acres encompass rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Founder Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life’s work in the garden. He selected the choicest plants from around the world to enhance the natural setting, arranging them in lyrical color combinations and carefully orchestrating a succession of bloom from late January to November.
Descriptions of the trip highlights are listed below.
Costumes of Downton Abbey Exhibit
From Edith's wedding gown to Sybil's harem outfit to the scarlet dress Lady Mary wore when Matthew proposed (the second time), the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit includes 40 outfits from the show as well as photographs and vignettes inspired by the fictional program and by real life at Winterthur. It is the only United States exhibit to feature costumes from this renowned series, which has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries and seven Emmy awards.
Winterthur (pronounced "winter-tour"), the 175-room former home of Henry Francis du Pont, is the premier museum of American decorative arts, reflecting both early America and the du Pont family's life there. Its 60-acre naturalistic garden is among the country's best, and its research library serves scholars from around the world. A place of beauty, history and learning, Winterthur invites guests to tour the grand house, visit the galleries, wander through the garden, hike the estate's winding roads and enjoy special exhibits.
Hotel du Pont
Opened in 1913, the Hotel du Pont is a landmark hotel. Infused with luxury, the property is one of the finest examples of European craftsmanship in North America. Notable guests include Charles Lindbergh, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Katharine Hepburn.
"Our staff is looking forward to sharing this wonderful experience with our patrons," Museums director Christin Byrum said. "Study travel trips are an important part of the Institute's public programming, offering opportunities for area residents to visit other museums, collections and historic places to learn together about various topics and areas of history."
Byrum said this "top-notch" exhibit set against the backdrop of the grand Winterthur estate will immerse visitors into an elegant setting similar to the every day lifestyle of the characters depicted in Downton Abbey.
"Whether you are a fashionista, historian, avid Downton Abbey fan or antiques collector, you will truly enjoy this one-of-a-kind exhibition," she said.
The Winterthur study travel trip takes place Nov. 8-9. Advanced reservations must be made by Oct. 8. Space is limited. For more information on tour pricing and for a complete travel itinerary call 304-242-7272 or visit www.OIonline.com.