Winterthur eyes new members with arts magazine

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Next month the du Pont family estate in Winterthur, DE, will become more than a mansion -- it will be the emblem for a new brand.

Publishing company Pace Communications will launch Winterthur Magazine, a quarterly inspired by the historic du Pont estate.

"We chose to debut the publication around the Wilmington, Delaware, art show on November 9," said Jaci Ponzoni, vice president of custom publishing at Pace, Greensboro, NC. "It's a big and prestigious event on the East Coast that a lot of potential readers will attend."

The magazine plans a soft launch Nov. 9, with a harder one Jan. 17 to coincide with the New York Antique Show. The title will be received by members of the Winterthur organization, along with leaders in art and culture who have helped Winterthur expand. Winterthur has 15,000 members currently. The group plans to use the magazine subscription as a benefit to attract new members.

Previous members, meeting attendees and prospects who fit the profile of current members will receive copies as well. The outreach will be on a national level.

"This publication is very different because it is designed as a customer relationship management tool, which will be great at building relationships between the existing group of members," Ms. Ponzoni said.

Editorial will include features by authors and art historians such as Liz Seymour, a regular contributor to the New York Times, and Jonathan Lerner, a contributor to lifestyle and fine arts publications.

The magazine also will offer articles on upcoming exhibitions, the seasonal wonders of Henry Francis du Pont's gardens, collection acquisitions and behind-the-scenes features on Winterthur's curatorial and conservation activities.

The publication aims to introduce readers to Winterthur-inspired products created by licensees such as Hickory Chair, Chelsea House and Mottahedeh.

"Through the magazine we are able to touch on research activities that the [Winterthur] Delaware museum is conducting as well as educate people about the largest Delaware museum and the exhibitions and events that are held within it," said Susan Weissman, editor of City Reports for Pace Communications.

The title will be distributed to 50,000 households in 2007. It will be tailored to affluent, educated readers interested in the preservation and celebration of American decorative arts. More than 65 percent have a household income exceeding $100,000. Prospective readers will receive a copy of the magazine and two letters from the museum via direct mail.

"Our goal is to grow membership and to increase the investment of Winterthur as well as further education in the arts culture," Ms. Weissman said.

Winterthur previously had a publication tailored to the member community. The new magazine will take its place.

"The previous one was more scholarly and what you typically associate with a membership publication," Ms. Ponzoni said. "We wanted to make this one visually more exciting."

A complementing Web site in the works.

The four issues in 2007 will surround events in the museum itself. The 48-page book has 14 pages of advertising featuring Mercedes-Benz dealerships, insurance companies, Christie's and real estate agencies.

"We are really trying to present the lifestyle associated with Winterthur," Ms. Ponzoni said. "Winterthur was a home and there was a lifestyle maintained there, and that was intensely seated in our wanting to have a magazine, for readers to achieve that."

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