People across the country will soon get a unique snapshot of the beautiful gardens of Winterthur as part of a new US postage series celebrating ten classic American gardens.
While each garden represented on the stamps is significant in its own way, the stamp honoring Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library uniquely reflects the relationship between the landscape and its owner, Henry Frances du Pont, who was, “a great collector and a great designer but at heart, a gardener,” said Winterthur Communications Manager Mark Nardone. “It is the vision of one man at his home, primarily for his own enjoyment and the enjoyment of his family and guests.”
An experienced and capable horticulturist, du Pont personally designed the 70-acre naturalistic garden that surrounds his former home. The layout is internationally renowned for its distinctive color schemes, remarkable specimen trees, and unique palette of plants, which created an aesthetic that was unique among American gardens of its time.
The stamp features a photograph of azaleas blooming around the home’s reflecting pool in a formal garden designed by Marian Coffin, du Pont’s closest friend. Known for her refined and elegant designs, Coffin was a pioneer in her field — the first woman to own her own landscape architecture firm — and her designs still influence professionals today.
“The Winterthur garden is Mr. du Pont’s masterwork, so it is a remarkable artifact,” says Chris Strand, director of garden and estate at Winterthur. “We manage it carefully to preserve the design intent and skill of Mr. du Pont and the many staff who have cared for it for over a century, and we love sharing that vision with visitors every day.”
Museum staff says the stamp collection presents a terrific opportunity. “Winterthur is extraordinarily pleased to be so honored by the Postal Service and grateful that it will share the beauty of our historic gardens with the nation,” said Carol B. Cadou, the Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO of Winterthur.
“Our, Henry Francis du Pont, would have been very proud to have Americans everywhere see his stunning landscape designs,” she said.
Celebrating the beauty of American Gardens, the Postal Service features ten different photographs of botanic, country estate, and municipal gardens, taken between 1996 and 2014. The gardens include:
Biltmore Estate Gardens (North Carolina)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (New York)
Chicago Botanic Garden (Illinois)
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Maine)
Dumbarton Oaks Garden (District of Columbia)
The Huntington Botanical Gardens (California)
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park (Florida)
Norfolk Botanical Garden (Virginia)
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Ohio)
Winterthur Garden (Delaware).
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photos taken by Allen Rokach.