Monday, September 12, 2011

Chic It Up 1960s Style

I just received word that Winterthur's annual design conference, Chic It Up!, will be held on October 9 and 10 at Winterthur. This year's event focuses on 1960's interior design and the contributions that Henry Francis du Pont made both to Winterthur and to the design world during that decade. After all, du Pont was friends with such luminaries as Diana Vreeland, Billy Baldwin, Millicent Hearst, and Jackie Kennedy. In fact, you might recall that Kennedy appointed du Pont to be chairman of her committee to refurnish the White House, something which I'll explore in a future post.

This year's lineup of speakers includes Adam Lewis speaking on Billy Baldwin, Emily Evans Eerdmans discussing Madeleine Castaing, James Archer Abbot holding forth on Maison Jansen, and Mitchell Owens expounding on Swinging 1960s Style. I have heard both Lewis and Eerdmans speak before, and they are both interesting and engaging speakers. And although I have never had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Abbot nor Owens, I hear that they too are most impressive. Can you imagine a better way to spend the day than to learn more about 1960s design? I can't.

Later in the day on the 10th, there will be workshops that one can attend led by Winterthur's own Maggie Lidz, Tom Savage, Jeff Groff, and Linda Eaton as well as other Winterthur historians. I have heard this group lecture before, and they too will knock your socks off. And there is even an optional tour the day before of private homes in the area including one whose dining room appeared in Thomas Jayne's recent book,
The Finest Rooms in America.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend this year's event because of a prior commitment. I am sick that I'll miss it because the Chic It Up! event that I attended two years ago was one of the best conferences that I have ever attended- truly. This is why I urge you to make plans to attend. You really won't be sorry. And if my ebullience seems a little over the top, just know that I am not receiving any type of compensation for this plug. I am doing it solely because I think that Winterthur is one of our country's great treasures.

For more information, visit or call 302-888-4786.

The Dining Room at The Big Bend, one of the houses that is part of the optional tour. Photo courtesy of The Finest Rooms in America (The Monacelli Press, 2010) by Thomas Jayne. Photo by Kerri McCaffety.

Madeleine Castaing's Winter Bedroom at Maison de Leves that will be discussed by Emily Evans Eerdmans. Photo from The World of Madeleine Castaing (Rizzoli, 2010) by Emily Eerdmans, courtesy of Sotheby's.

Adam Lewis will speak on design legend Billy Baldwin. Photo by Horst, from Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator (Rizzoli, 2010) by Adam Lewis, courtesy of Adam Lewis.

The White House Blue Room as designed by Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen. Photo courtesy of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library

Photo of David Hicks interior, part of the Chic It Up! banner, from from The Best of European Decoration (Reynal & Co., 1963) by Georges Bernier, courtesy of L’Oeil.


  1. I love the 1960's look--comfortable and bright, and reflecting so much that was going on during that period.

    Winterthur is one of the places I most regret never having seen. Du Pont was one of the greatest collectors, not just accumulating, but also defining the field and its significance.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  3. Jim Abbott is a great speaker, too. I've heard him a number of times, as well as Adam Lewis and Emily EE.

  4. What a great line-up! These are some of the great writers/documenters today so each comment by them will be particularly interesting, I am sure.

  5. Sounds Divine. Sorry it is so far from California.