February 8-May 27, 2019
See Biltmore's fifth annual elaborate clothing exhibition, A Vanderbilt House Party - The Gilded Age, displayed throughout the grand rooms inside Biltmore House! You'll imagine yourself as a cherished guest at one of George and Edith Vanderbilt's grand turn-of-the-century house parties. Through audio storytelling and elegant clothing meticulously recreated from archival Vanderbilt photos, hear and see fascinating stories of how they entertained their guests. They definitely knew how to do it in style!
Photo above: Afternoon tea on the Loggia of Biltmore House with the Vanderbilts, September 1900. Left to right, Edith Vanderbilt, Madame Rambaud (Edith Vanderbilt's former chaperone), Lila Vanderbilt Webb (George Vanderbilt's sister), Mary Webb (Lila Webb's sister in law), Isabella Stewart Gardner, unidentified man, and George Vanderbilt.
Oscar-winning costume designer John Bright created the clothing with inspiration from archival photographs and portraits in Biltmore’s collection. Biltmore has partnered with Bright and his London-based company Cosprop for all of its costume exhibitions, including “Dressing Downton,” which featured Bright’s creations for the wildly popular series “Downton Abbey.” Each piece will be displayed in locations of Biltmore House where it was originally worn, paired with the photograph from the Vanderbilt archives that inspired it. Bright has received 12 Academy Award nominations and a win for Best Costume Design in 1985 for “A Room with a View.”
In the above photo, clothing reproduction of outfits worn by Adele and Jay Burden. Adele was the niece of George Vanderbilt, and she and husband Jay honeymooned at Biltmore in June 1895 (see photo below).
To create the reproductions, designers used photos like this one with George Vanderbilt, left, with niece Adele Burden and her husband, Jay Burden, June 1895.
A new audio-guided tour (free with all online ticket purchases) uses 360-degree sound techniques. The narration is based on those who lived and worked in Biltmore House, and features a butler recounting the leisurely days and glamorous evenings the Vanderbilts’ guests enjoyed. Listen in on staff as they work to prepare a grand multi-course dinner; as an opera singer rehearses before her evening performance; and as servants set an elaborate table in the Banquet Hall with family china, silver and crystal.
Special: Buy tickets on Biltmore's web site at least 7 days in advance and save $10. Admission is $50-$85/person, depending on the date. The lowest ticket prices are midweek in February. Pay more on weekends and holidays. Youth tickets ages 10-16 are 50%. Children 9 & under admitted free.
Tip: Valentine's Weekend will be very busy! So buy tickets and make hotel reservations well in advance.
More: Plan your trip with our Biltmore Estate insiders guide - including the latest ticket specials. Winter is a great time to visit the estate. Read more about Biltmore visits in February & March. In April and May, Biltmore Blooms features plenty of spring beauty in the gardens.