WINTERTHUR -- The trustees of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library announced the 2016 recipient of the Henry Francis du Pont Award is Morrison H. Heckscher, Curator Emeritus, The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"It is an honor for the Winterthur trustees to present the Henry Francis du Pont Award to Morrison Heckscher, an accomplished scholar who is one of Winterthur's own as a graduate of the University of Delaware's Winterthur Program in Early American Culture," said Winterthur Trustees Chair Katharine Booth. "Morrie's extraordinary contributions to American decorative arts include prolific scholarship, curatorial exceptionalism, such as the seminal exhibitions American Rococo: Elegance in Ornament, 1750--1775 and John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, among others, and the expansion and modernization of The American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We are deeply grateful to Morrie for his inspiring vision and leadership in the field."
Heckscher is a 1964 graduate of the University of Delaware. He received his B.A. in American history from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. During his education, he developed particular interest in 18th-century American furniture and 19th- and 20th-century American architecture. He is perhaps best known for his nearly five decades of dedicated service to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, during which time he mounted several important exhibitions with accompanying catalogs including American Rococo: 1750—1775; John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker; The Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Architectural History, 1870—1995; and Creating Central Park.
In 1998, he was appointed the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts and became the Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of The American Wing in 2001, a position he held for 13 years. He conceived and supervised the decade-long renovation and reinstallation of the entire American Wing, culminating in the American Paintings and Sculpture Galleries that opened to much acclaim in 2012. He now serves as Curator Emeritus of The American Wing.