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Louise du Pont Crowninshield photographs

1860-1945
 Collection
Accession: 1971-mss-471

Abstract

Louise Evelina du Pont (1877-1958) was an heiress and preservationist, who was the great granddaughter of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771–1834), the founder of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. She was the last du Pont to live on the Eleutherian Mills estate. This collection consists of photographic and graphic materials primarily of Crowninshield's extended du Pont family and friends. The collection has been organized into four series: Family portraits, Travel photographs, Residences, and Mary Pauline Foster du Pont sketches and collection of travel souveniers.

Dates

  • 1860-1945

Creator

Extent

5 Linear Feet

General Physical Description

Approx. 258 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. and smaller. 54 photographic prints : color ; 3.5 x 3.5 in. 1 photograph : ambrotype ; 6 x 4.5 in. 1 photograph : daguerreotype ; 3 x 2.5 in. 10 photographic prints : tintypes ; 6 x 4.25 in. or smaller. 157 photographic prints : cabinet photographs ; 6.5 c 4.25 in. 215 photographic prints : cartes-de-visite ; 4 x 2.5 in. 41 photographic prints : stereographs ; 4 x 7 in. or smaller. 1 album ( 52 photographic prints) : b&w ; 3.5 x 4 in. or smaller. 1 album (19 photographic prints) : b&w ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller. 1 album (19 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 1 album (12 photographic prints) : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 1 floorplan : 13.5 x 12 in. 4 prints : color ; 15.25 x 21.25 in. 1 print : b&w ; 7.75 x 12 in. 5 drawings : pencil ; 11 x 14 in. and smaller. 1 print : engraving ; 6 x 7.25 in. 1 print : engraving ; 6.25 x 9.75 in. 47 photomechanical prints : postcards, color and b&w ; 3.5 x 5.5 in. or smaller.

Biographical Note

Louise Evelina du Pont (1877-1958) was an heiress and a historic preservationist, who was the great granddaughter of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771–1834), the founder of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. She was a daughter of Henry A. du Pont (1838-1926) and Mary Pauline Foster du Pont (1849-1902). She was born, raised, and educated at the family estate, Winterthur, north of Wilmington, Delaware with her brother Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969).

In 1900, Louise du Pont married Francis Boardman Crowninshield (1869-1950), a renowned sportsman who raced yachts and was an expert marksman. There were no children by this marriage. The Crowninshields had homes in Marblehead and Boston, Massachusetts; Boca Grande, Florida; and the original du Pont family estate, Eleutherian Mills, north of Wilmington, Delaware.

Louise du Pont Crowninshield actively participated in charitable organizations, horticulture, historic preservation, and collected antiques and hooked rugs. One of Crowninshield's earliest historic restoration projects was the original du Pont family estate; Eleutherian Mills, where she resided during the spring and fall months. She was a founding trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1949 and was vice-chairman of the board in 1953. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) appointed her to the Boston National Historic Sites Commission. She was also involved with historic restoration in Virginia, particularly the Kenmore Association, of which she was a regent (Kenmore was the Fredericksburg, Virginia, home of Fielding Lewis and his wife, Betty Washington Lewis (1733-1797), sister of George Washington (1732-1799). She often provided financial assistance and artifacts when needed at historic sites. In addition, she was a member or trustee of numerous historical societies, museums, art, and symphony organizations. Crowninshield's additional interests included travel and her pet dogs.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of photographic and graphic materials primarily of Crowninshield's extended du Pont family and friends. The collection has been organized into four series: Family portraits, Travel photographs, Residences, and Mary Pauline Foster du Pont sketches and collection of travel souveniers.

The Family portraits series contains portraits of the Crowninshield's, her parents, brother Henry Francis du Pont, her nieces, and cousins. Henry Algernon du Pont, Louise's father, is represented with photographs from his military days to his years as an elderly man. There is a photographic copy of the sketch of him by John Singer Sargent in 1920. There are also photographs and engravings of Crowninshield's ancestors.

The Residences series is composed of images of Eleutherian Mills and its environs. These include two rare, small early sketches of a greenhouse (without attribution) and a dormer by Theophilus Chandler. Most of the holdings, however, are photographs taken of the family home. The collection also includes views of the garden that Crowninshield had built on top of the DuPont Company's industrial ruins. Some of these were taken by New York photographer Frank Geisler (1867-1935). There are also views of her other homes in Masachusetts and Florida. The homes of other du Pont family members, including Beecheville-Burgundy, the country chateau of Jacques Bidermann, and the home of Bertha King Benkard at Oyster Bay, Long Island (1945) are included. There is a fragment of a lithograph showing "Lamb Mill;" a view of Gilpin's Mill which is erroneously titled "The Battle of the Brandywine;" an engraving of Camp Du Pont, and an engraving of the Surrender Following the Battle of York.

The Travel photographs series contains some faded snapshots of her trip to Japan, Ceylon, Bangkok in 1955 and the Philippine Islands. There are photographs of trips to unidentified locations and commercial postcards collected on her visits to Italy, Istanbul, and Greece.

The Mary Pauline Foster du Pont sketches and collection of travel souveniers series are primarily items gathered in her ninteenth century European and American travels and portraits of friends. In her travels she collected photographs, cartes de visite, and cabinet cards of European scenic views, celebrities, and royalty. There are also some pencil sketches done by her in her youth, two small pencil sketches of cats labeled in French; a photographic series of the Brighton cats by H. Pointer.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Material

Louise du Pont Crowninshield papers (Accession 471), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Louise du Pont Crowninshield photographs
Status:
Author:
Laurie Sather
Date:
2016
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400