Biltmore Wines Have Big Personalities

From flavor to food-friendliness, we’ve always believed that Biltmore wines have big personalities.

To highlight North Carolina Wine Month in May, we’re pairing five of the estate’s historic VIPs with a distinctive Biltmore wine that best matches their own larger-than-life personalities!

~ George Washington Vanderbilt ~
Antler Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Portrait of George Vanderbilt and three bottles of wine
George Vanderbilt (left; portrait by John Singer Sargent) was a thoughtful collector of wines whose legacy continues to inspire our handcrafted Biltmore wines today.

Mr. Vanderbilt was known as a thoughtful collector of wine, often bringing back cases of his favorite discoveries from his world travels to share with friends and family at Biltmore.

Handcrafted from exceptional grapes grown by phenomenal vineyard partners in California’s Napa Valley, our full-bodied Antler Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is as refined and elegant as George Vanderbilt himself.

~ Edith Stuyvesant Vanderbilt ~
Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina

Edith Vanderbilt paired with Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay
Our Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay is an elegant match for this glorious Boldini portrait of Edith Vanderbilt

Handcrafted from North Carolina’s finest locally grown Chardonnay grapes, this wine is full-bodied with good acidity highlighted by citrus and tropical fruit flavors.

Only vintage wines worthy of the Biltmore Reserve name earn this select honor, and the excellence of this Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina reflects the gracious character of Edith Vanderbilt who, in turn, symbolizes the heart of Biltmore and all that the estate represents.

~ Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil ~
Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir

Biltmore wines have big personalities, like Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil
Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil exemplifies the Roaring Twenties spirit of our Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir

Born in 1900, Cornelia Vanderbilt would come of age in the Roaring Twenties, a time characterized by the effervescent enthusiasm of the American Jazz Age.

Our Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir sparkling wine captures the joie de vivre of this exciting era in a crisp, sparkling wine with a delightful light pink hue and flavors of cherries and strawberries.

~ Richard Morris Hunt ~
The Hunt Red Blend Sonoma County

Richard Morris Hunt and The Hunt wine
The Hunt Red Blend is named in honor of Biltmore architect Richard Morris Hunt

The name of our richly-layered and refined Bordeaux-style red blend already honors Richard Morris Hunt, the architect of America’s Largest Home®, so it’s no surprise that it also represents his dynamic personality!

Aging for 18 months in French and American oak barrels gives The Hunt great structure, just like Biltmore—the magnificent estate that Hunt designed for George Vanderbilt.

~ Frederick Law Olmsted ~
Biltmore Estate Limited Release
Sauvignon Blanc

Frederick Law Olmsted and Biltmore wine
Biltmore Estate Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc reminds us of Biltmore landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted

Known as the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted planned the breathtaking gardens and grounds that surround Biltmore.

With classic grassy and herbal varietal characteristics, Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect partner for such an accomplished horticulturalist, and our Biltmore Estate Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc—refreshing and unexpectedly creamy with hints of toasted coconut, key lime, and oak—is no exception.

Find our award-winning wines online

Bucket full of Biltmore Wines
Put Biltmore wines on your “bucket list” for summer sipping!

Stock up on your favorites Biltmore wines now and discover new varietals at estate shops, local retailers, and online.

Featured image: Photograph of Edith Vanderbilt paired with Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina

Get Hooked on Fly-Fishing at Biltmore

With a practiced flick of his wrist, Dustin Stanberry can send a hand-tied fly spinning out above the water to strike precisely where he thinks his targets are waiting. Flying fishing can be tricky, however, and as a Biltmore Outdoor Adventure Center Instructor since 2011, Dustin knows he has to hone his skills constantly in order to help both beginners and accomplished anglers make the most of their experience.

A form of art

“Fly-fishing really is an art,” said Dustin, “and it takes time and patience to get a feel for the equipment—especially the flex or loading of the rod—and to allow it to do the work for you.”

Dustin has been an avid fisherman since childhood, receiving his first fly-fishing rod when he was about 12.  He began tying his own flies in his 20s, and realized that added a whole new element to the sport.

“Most fish can differentiate colors,” Dustin said, “and trout can tell the difference between light and dark as well as olive, yellow, and cream tones, so you have to have flies that mimic the insects that a species of fish would naturally choose to feed on at any given time of year. These are the type of things that an angler will build on and continuously improve throughout their fishing career.”

Enjoy the moment

Whether he’s providing guided fly-fishing lessons from the bank of the Lagoon or on the water in Biltmore’s classic wooden drift boat, Dustin stresses the importance of relaxing and having fun as you learn.

“It’s great to try out a new skill or improve your technique, but it should also be a time to connect with nature and enjoy your surroundings,” he said. “That’s especially important when you look at what we are trying to do with a fly rod—we’re trying to interest a fish in something that we’ve tied on a hook and then we want the fish to take it. It’s like going to a restaurant and having the chef place something in front of you that you didn’t order, but you decide you want to eat it anyway. It seems a little crazy until you actually catch your fish!”

For love of the sport

In addition to fly-fishing, Dustin is also an instructor for Biltmore’s Sporting Clays course on the west side of the estate. “It’s exciting that both our Fly-Fishing and Wingshooting Schools have earned an official Orvis endorsement,” said Dustin. “Orvis is a classic brand that fits well with Biltmore in terms of expertise and customer service.

Although he enjoys fly-fishing in a wide variety of settings—from calm lakes and rippling streams to rushing rivers and pounding waves along the seashore—Dustin is a catch-and-release advocate who hopes that others share his passion for skillfully landing a fish and letting it go.

“There’s always more to learn,” Dustin said. “Every fish is different, and you never feel like you’ve got it all covered!”

Explore the possibilities

Treat yourself to a Biltmore fly-fishing adventure with a two-hour introductory course or a half-day lesson. For more experienced anglers, we offer guided float trips on the estate or the nearby French Broad River and wading trips to well-stocked local streams and lakes.

Featured image: Dustin Stanberry with Biltmore’s drift boat
— First image: One of Dustin’s hand-tied “frog pattern” flies
— Second image: Drift boat at the Lagoon
— Third image: Guests enjoying a guided fly-fishing lesson at Biltmore

Like Father, Like Son: William Henry Vanderbilt

William Henry Vanderbilt, born in 1821, was one of three sons and eight daughters of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt. Although he was destined to follow the Commodore into the shipping and railroad business, William Henry would eventually share his passion for collecting art with his youngest son George Vanderbilt.

As a young man, William Henry studied accounting at Harvard University. After graduation, his first job as an accounting clerk was with his father’s biggest competitor. Eventually William Henry went to work with his father and the family business continued to prosper. The Commodore passed away in 1877, leaving the majority of his fortune and his business interests to his trusted son and associate William Henry Vanderbilt.

Portrait of William Henry Vanderbilt by Jared B. Flagg, c. 1877

William H. Vanderbilt portrait by Jared B. Flagg, c. 1877; Breakfast Room  at Biltmore

A passionate collector of art

Due to his own business success and the assets he inherited, William Henry was able to pursue a passion for art collecting that he had developed in earlier years but had not been able to fully realize until later. Like most other wealthy gentlemen of the time who were amassing art collections, William Henry tended to purchase what was fashionable, and in the early 1880s, French paintings in the realist or academic style were most desirable.

By the time William Henry’s youngest child George Washington Vanderbilt was born in 1862, the Vanderbilt family fortunes had expanded even further. Wealth and luxury were a way of life. George Vanderbilt was growing up in a world of that his parents and even his older brothers and sisters had not experienced. The family traveled extensively throughout Europe, and by the time George was 12, he began to accompany his father on art collecting trips overseas, setting a precedent for traveling abroad at least once a year for the rest of his life.

Like father, like son

George Vanderbilt inherited his father’s passion for admiring and collecting art. As a 16-year-old, one of his travel journals recorded some of the sites he and his father visited, such as Versailles, the Louvre, and the National Gallery in London. The journal also reveals that George was a serious student of the arts and of history, spending many hours strolling through museums and libraries, visiting art studios with his father, and studying art and history in his hotel room. Among other things, he commented on his admiration of classical antiquities, medieval French architecture, and English country houses. Thus the seeds of the future–and what would eventually transpire at Biltmore–were already planted in his mind.

When George was around 19, his father built a new Italian Renaissance style mansion at 640 Fifth Avenue with living quarters in the Bachelors Wing for his youngest son. George’s rooms on the third floor included not only a bedroom and dressing areas, but also a private library to house his growing collection of books. Perhaps even more than art, book collecting had become one of George Vanderbilt’s main interests.

Going to the Opera by Seymour Guy, 1873

Going to the Opera by Seymour Guy, 1873; Second Floor Living Hall at Biltmore

George Vanderbilt’s inheritance

William Henry passed away in 1884, bringing George a sizeable inheritance from his father’s estate. In addition, George also inherited a number of pieces from his father’s art collection, including a painting by Seymour Guy commissioned by William Henry in 1873.

Entitled Going to the Opera, the work features William Henry, his wife Maria Louisa, and their eight children gathered together in the family residence at 459 Fifth Avenue where they lived when George Vanderbilt was a child. While most of the older siblings are grandly dressed to attend an evening at the opera, the younger children (including George, who is the boy seated at the table) and their parents wear more casual clothing suited to an evening at home.

A closer look at the piece reveals a member of the household staff standing in the back of the room holding coats–an interesting detail to have included in this family painting. The commission and future exhibition of Going to the Opera was a definite statement reflecting the Vanderbilt family’s rise in society. This painting remains in the Biltmore collection and is visible in the hallway outside of Mr Vanderbilt’s Bedroom as you leave Second Floor Living Hall.

Book cases for a book collector

Third Floor Living Hall in Biltmore HouseHerter Brothers bookcases; Third Floor Living Hall at Biltmore

Not surprisingly, a set of beautiful bookcases custom built by the Herter Brothers of New York also came to George Vanderbilt from his father’s house. The Herter Brothers firm was well known for their exquisite designs and furnishings for the finest homes of the day, including the White House and Jay Gould’s mansion. Look for these bookcases in the Third Floor Living Hall at Biltmore House.

Grand glass

La Farge stained glass windows displayed at Biltmore's Winery

La Farge stained glass window displayed at Biltmore’s Winery

In 1879, William Henry Vanderbilt commissioned a series of stained glass panels for his Fifth Avenue home. Created by John La Farge, a contemporary of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the panels express allegorical scenes related to hospitality, prosperity, and other classic themes. The set of panels entitled The Fruits of Commerce shown here form a triptych that is now on display at the Winery in Antler Hill Village.

Lighting the way

Deerpark Restaurant at BiltmoreDeerpark Restaurant at Biltmore

For sheer size, nothing George Vanderbilt inherited from his father compares to a pair of enormous decorative lanterns that once adorned the entrance of William Henry’s mansion at 640 Fifth Avenue. The massive lanterns once watched over crowds of curious onlookers; today they welcome guests who visit Deerpark Restaurant located on the grounds of Biltmore.

See Biltmore’s treasures for yourself
Plan your visit to Biltmore and learn more about the Vanderbilt family and the treasures collected and displayed in America’s Largest Home®.

Featured blog image: Photograph of William Henry Vanderbilt, c. 1882

Sip, Savor, and Share on Scholar’s Walk

More than three decades after opening, the timing was right to refresh Biltmore’s Winery, creating more spacious tasting rooms and a new wine bar in the area known as Scholar’s Walk.

Modern renovation

Biltmore Wine Bar at Scholars Walk

The first phase of the project was completed in April 2016. Plenty of wine enthusiasts were on hand for the special preview event and they added their names and their comments to pieces of lumber that would be used in the next stages of renovation. Our winemakers and hosts were overwhelmed by all the warm wishes that were incorporated into the construction and will now remain a permanent part of the Winery. The final phases of the project will be finished in Spring 2017, with a new space for specialty wine tasting experiences located where the original wine bar was, plus a new wine bar on Scholar’s Walk by the iconic clock tower.

History of Scholar’s Walk

“Scholar’s Walk has an interesting history,” said Heather Jordan, Director of Wine Marketing. “When the Winery was first opened, few people knew as much about wine production as they do today. We wanted to help guests understand what we were doing, so we created Scholar’s Walk as a way to tell our wine story.”

With a mix of photography, videos, informational panels, and a timeline mural, Scholar’s Walk engaged guests and helped them learn about our vineyards and our commitment to handcrafting fine wines.

Ann Ashley, Vice President of Talent and Organizational Development, was a member of the team that opened the Winery in 1985, and she remembers helping develop the educational aspects of Scholar’s Walk.

“We had some wonderful displays,” says Ann Ashley, “including a light-up map of our vineyard and audio recordings that explained our winemaking philosophy. It was state-of-the-art technology for the 80s!”

Learning more

Biltmore Wine Bar at Scholars Walk

Today’s guests can enjoy learning more about the history of Biltmore Wines by exploring the timeline on display at the Winery entrance in Antler Hill Village and the archival photographs and informational panels in the tunnel beyond it—none of which was open to the public when the Winery first opened. We’ve also added more storytelling and behind-the-scenes views in our specialty tours and tastings.

New wine bar

Now that our expanded tastings, tours, and specialty wine experiences have eliminated the need for Scholar’s Walk as an educational tool, we’re ready to convert this elegant brick, beam, and stucco space into a modern wine bar featuring outdoor seating with a view of the iconic clock tower atop the Winery.

“We intend it to be a very relaxing spot,” Heather said, “more like a lounge, where you can linger to enjoy Biltmore wines with friends. We will have a full selection of wines, and there are visually stunning details such as the bar itself, made from a tree that was original to the property.”

Olmsted’s Deliberate Approach

The three-mile Approach Road that meanders from Biltmore Village up to Biltmore House is not there by accident—it’s the result of a very intentional and complex design by Frederick Law Olmsted, Biltmore’s landscape designer.

Everything by design

In Olmsted’s own words, “…the most striking and pleasing impression of the Estate will be obtained if an approach can be made that shall have throughout a natural and comparatively wild and secluded character; its borders rich with varied forms of vegetation, with incidents growing of the vicinity of springs and streams and the remote depths of a natural forest.”

The road is a perfect blending of forest and landscape with no hard edges to separate the two. The lack of long-range views is intentional.

“The Approach Road is the first important garden and landscape feature you see on the estate,” said Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture. “It gives you a true feel for Olmsted’s skill.”

approach road during spring
Mountain laurel blooms along approach road

“Along the brook and on the edge of the drive, Olmsted planted low-growing plants. For variety of color in the winter, he used hardy olives, evergreens with an olive tint, junipers, red cedars, and yews,” explained Parker. “All of these created the complexity of light and shadow that define a picturesque style.”

Archival photo of digging crew of Approach Road
George Vanderbilt (front row, far right, in a light-colored hat) and Frederick Law Olmsted (to Vanderbilt’s right) with the crew that dug the Approach Road

Changes through time

Over time, all of Biltmore’s landscapes have matured and changed in appearance. The challenge for today’s landscaping team lies in determining Olmsted’s original intent for the approach road, and they use archival resources such as early plans, letters of correspondence written during the construction of the estate, and information about Olmsted’s design philosophies to help them stay true to the original vision.

Sometimes, variations from the approach road plan are necessary. For example, Olmsted planted some exotic plants that were not invasive at that time, including Oriental bittersweet, mahonia, and barberry. We’ve replaced those with others plants that offer similar characteristics and looks. We also now know that certain plants will not thrive where originally planted, so we select others that are able to do well in those original locations. “It’s a continual learning process, and each year I discover something new,” said Parker.

Fall on the Approach Road at Biltmore
Leaf peeping on the Approach Road during fall is a favorite past time for visitors.

Rolling out the Academy Award® Red Carpet…

 Our Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics exhibition beginning February 10 gives you the opportunity to take a closer look at costumes from six films nominated for an Academy Award® in Costume Design—including an Oscar® winner!

British costume designer Jacqueline Durran was honored with an Academy Award® in 2012 for her interpretation of late 19th-century Russian attire for Anna Karenina. Five of the costumes she designed for the film will be on display in the Second Floor Living Hall of Biltmore House.

Anna Karenina is the third film for which Durran worked with director Joe Wright and actress Keira Knightley. Their previous projects, Pride and Prejudice (2006) and Atonement (2008), each earned Durran an Academy Award® nomination for her designs. The designer was also nominated for her work in Mr. Turner (2015).

The Designed for Drama exhibition also includes costumes from five other films whose designers were nominated for an Academy Award® :

  • Finding Neverland (2004); designed by Alexandra Byrne, a four-time nominee who won an Oscar for Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999); designed by Colleen Atwood, an eleven-time nominee and three-time Oscar winner for Chicago (2002), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), and Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • Jane Eyre (2011); designed by Michael O’Connor, a three-time nominee who won an Oscar for The Duchess (2008).
  • The Portrait of a Lady (1996); designed by Janet Patterson, a four-time nominee.

As part of our exhibition preview, a costume from Sense and Sensibility (1995), designed by Jenny Beavan and John Bright, is on display at the Winery in Antler Hill Village. As a costume design team, Beavan and Bright have shared six Academy Award® nominations—including one for Sense and Sensibility—and won an Oscar for their work in A Room with a View (1985).

Feature image: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Alicia Vikander as Vronsky and Kitty in Anna Karenina; photo credit: ANNA KARENINA ©2012 Universal Pictures Limited.

Bold backdrop inspires Claude Bedding

In 2011, our curators completed a major project on the second floor of Biltmore House, allowing guests to see four grand bedrooms restored to their original splendor. Known as the Louis XV Suite, the restoration encompassed the Damask Room, Claude Room, Tyrolean Chimney Room, and the Louis XV Room.

Claude Room at Biltmore House

Like many rooms in Biltmore House, the Claude Room was named after one of George Vanderbilt’s favorite artists, the French painter Claude Lorrain. Born Claude Gellee (ca. 1605-1682), the artist was later known as Claude Lorrain after the province of his birth. During the Vanderbilts’ 1898 European honeymoon, Mr. Vanderbilt visited several collections of Lorrain’s work. Lorrain was considered to be one of the greatest landscape painters of all time.

The striking silver and cobalt wallpaper found in the Claude Room was the inspiration for our compelling Claude Bedding ensemble. As luxurious in design and grand in scale as its namesake, the handsome chenille comforter and accessories add bold flair to your home with sweeping shades of platinum, blue-gray, and charcoal intertwined with ivory and gold.

Featured image: Claude Bedding shown on Antler Hill Panel Bed with Belle-Sophia Chest

On the Archivist’s Desk: A Century’s Worth of Records

Biltmore archivist Jill Hawkins is responsible for cataloging, managing, and preserving Biltmore’s historic records. With more than a century’s worth of manuscripts, books, photographs, drawings, and the like to handle, organization is paramount.

Biltmore Marketing Material

One of Jill’s projects is conducting an inventory of outdated Biltmore marketing materials, which is no small task. Some of the items have labels, helping to put the pieces together, but many do not. From hard copies of video mailing tapes to recordings of commercials from as far back as the 1970s, there are literally dozens of boxes of material to be processed.

The marketing materials include three types of records: audiovisuals, photographs, and paper documents. The audiovisual materials are the least stable of the three and must first be digitized before they can be cataloged. Jill sent the master videotape collection to be digitized first and is now preparing to send a collection of film reels to be digitized.

Chauncey Beadle’s Incoming Correspondence

Jill is also processing estate superintendent Chauncey Beadle’s incoming correspondence. Of all George Vanderbilt’s principal managers, Beadle’s archival collection is by far the largest.

Beadle said he came to Biltmore for a month and stayed for a lifetime. From his initial role as Biltmore nursery supervisor in 1890 to his final role as estate superintendent until his death in 1950, there is an enormous amount of correspondence to be processed. From files and files tightly pressed…

…in boxes and boxes…

…which fill shelves upon shelves.

Accessions: Biltmore Dairy Farms

Cataloging new accessions is an ongoing project for Jill. Accessions are documents and objects acquired through either donation or purchase to be added to Biltmore’s archival collections. Most recently, she received some items from the days of the Biltmore Dairy.

Perhaps most notable is a “Time Book,” providing a record of names, hours, and wages of dairy workers from January 1908 through October 1909.

Another fascinating new accession is a coupon book, likely from around the same time.

With such a massive and ever-growing amount of material to manage, Jill certainly has her work cut out for her—but she assures us that it is a labor of love.

Reading Between the Wines

As a collector whose interests included fine wines and great literature, George Vanderbilt sought the best of both to share with family and friends at Biltmore.

“In honor of our upcoming Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics exhibition premiering in Biltmore House, our winemakers have created two new wines to showcase George Vanderbilt’s passion for great literature and fine vintages,” said Jill Whitfield, Wine Marketing

Known as the Library Series, the wines’ commemorative labels feature silhouettes of beloved literary characters with backgrounds resembling fine leather and gold detailing inspired by volumes in George Vanderbilt’s library.

“We wanted the labels to convey that same sense of richness and texture that you find with the covers of classic books,” Jill said. “And the characters we chose represent romance and mystery—two enduring themes in literature.”

Pencil sketch of Sherlock Holmes for Library Series labelVolume I of the Library Series is a velvety and fruit-forward red blend with flavors of blueberry, blackberry, and hints of oak and vanilla. The dapper detective on the label was hand-drawn by Lisa Vogel, Assistant Art Director, and bears a marked resemblance to Sherlock Holmes. In his “Books I Have Read” journals, George Vanderbilt notes having read some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries.

For Volume II—a white blend with light honey flavors, a touch of spice, and a crisp finish —Lisa drew two figures standing with their backs to each other. Their stiff body language and early 1800s style of dress mark them as the central characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which can be found among George Vanderbilt’s books.

Label for Library Series white wine“Each volume of our Library Series celebrates Vanderbilt’s lifelong passion for learning, his friendships with notable authors, and the intriguing collections in his vast library,” said Jill. “The Library Series wines feature a remarkable blend of handcrafted taste imprinted with distinctive style.”

Our Library Series wines are available during the exhibition at the Winery, in select estate shops, and online.

Designed for Drama brings together the artistry of great literary works, costume design, and movie making. More than 40 award-winning movie costumes will be on display throughout America’s largest home, accompanied by the original books in George Vanderbilt’s 22,000-volume library that inspired the films. Elaborate costumes from recent films including Sherlock Holmes, Finding Neverland, Anna Karenina, and Far from the Madding Crowd will bring many of Vanderbilt’s favorite stories to life showcased in the grand spaces of Biltmore House February 10–July 4, 2017.

A Gem in George Vanderbilt’s Library

Once termed “one of the best read men in the country” by New York media, George Vanderbilt amassed a personal library of more than 22,000 volumes at Biltmore House, each of which he selected with great care.

In honor of our upcoming Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics exhibition, let’s take a look at a true gem within his literary collection: George’s copy of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906), a first American edition of the book featuring illustrations by artist Arthur Rackham.

Arthur Rackham illustration 1

Peter Pan is familiar to most as the free-spirited and mischievous young boy of Neverland who can fly and never grows up.

However, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, one of Barrie’s four major works featuring the beloved character, introduces Peter at the tender age of just seven days old.

The vast majority of the book first appeared in Barrie’s The Little White Bird (1902) as a story within the story.

The popularity of The Little White Bird, thanks in large part to the several chapters involving Peter Pan, prompted Barrie to write the 1904 play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, a wildly successful production that broke nearly all previous theatrical records.

Barrie eventually adapted the play into another, better-known novel: Peter Pan and Wendy (1911)—but not before the chapters that first introduced the character were extracted from The Little White Bird and published as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.

While the text was slightly revised for the 1906 publication to read better without the context of the surrounding story, more significant is the addition of Rackham’s illustrations.

Arthur Rackham illustration 2

His 50 beautiful color plates helped to make the book immediately popular and drew attention to the artist, who—aside from his success with Rip Van Winkle (1905)—was relatively unknown before then.

Another notable difference is the fact that The Little White Bird was published as a novel for adult readers whereas Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens was published as a children’s book.

This fact leads us to believe that Cornelia Vanderbilt, George’s daughter who was six years old at the time, may have played a role in his decision to add the title to his collection.

Beginning February 10, George’s copy of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens will be on display in the Banquet Hall of Biltmore House, along with multiple costumes from the film Finding Neverland (2004), which tells the story of J.M. Barrie’s friendship with the family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Feature: Arthur Rackham’s “There Now Arose a Mighty Storm” on the inside cover, and the title page of
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
Right: Rackham’s “Looking Very Undancey Indeed” from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
Left: Rackham’s “The Serpentine is a Lovely Lake” from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens