Biltmore Opens New Exhibition: A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age

The Biltmore Company The Gilded Age
John Bright and Leslie Klingner at Biltmore in Asheville, NC. Bright, an Academy Award-winning costume designer, worked with Klingner, Biltmore’s Curator of Interpretation, to recreate clothing for A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age. Source: PRNewswire/Biltmore

After more than two years of collaboration with Oscar-winning designer John Bright, Biltmore has opened its latest exhibition, A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age. The exhibition is open now and runs through May 27, 2019.

A Vanderbilt House Party features clothing vignettes in Biltmore House, paired with storytelling in a new audio-guided tour that provides an insider’s perspective of party preparations as though today’s guests are present for a 1905 house party. The narration is based on those who lived, visited and worked in Biltmore House.

Said Lauren Henry, Biltmore associate curator, at a recent panel discussion:

“With this exhibition, we want our guests to feel like they know what it was like to visit Biltmore at that time. We want Biltmore House to feel like a home.”

Preparing for this exhibition, curators turned to the Vanderbilt archives for letters, photographs, and documents – including fashion magazines of the Gilded Age – to create this new guest experience.

John Bright, along with his London-based company Cosprop, collaborated with Biltmore’s curators to meticulously reproduce the Vanderbilt family’s clothing displayed in the exhibition. Bright created the items with inspiration from archival photographs and portraits in Biltmore’s collection, bringing vivid color to scenes previously only seen in century-old black-and-white photos.

A Vanderbilt House Party is included in daytime admission; the audio-guided exhibition tour is free with online ticket purchases or can be purchased onsite for an additional fee.

To learn more about this new exhibit, and how to purchase tickets, visit

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt.  Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques.  The estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture.  Visit the website or call 877-BILTMORE.


Source: The Biltmore Company

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