Iron at Winterthur

Iron at Winterthur, a catalogue of the extensive but unpublished collection at the museum, will fill an oft-neglected niche in the field of decorative arts - that of the history and use of iron in the everyday life of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century America. With essays and entries on approximately three hundred cast, wrought, and sheet iron objects for every conceivable household function, the author not only addresses the specifics of maker, date, place of origin, and the like but also presents thematic and interpretive commentary dealing with economics, craft and manufacturing techniques, and the marketplace. Fennimore also considers the issue of aesthetics. He adeptly weaves the story of skill and artistry, illuminating the grace and beauty inherent in everyday iron objects. Equally instructive is the book's introduction, which documents the formation of the collection by museum founder Henry Francis du Pont, one of the twentieth-century's most notable collectors of Americana.