Miss Hogg’s interest in the Wagner House at Winedale was attracted by the extraordinary quality of its painted decoration, now understood to be the work of Rudolph Melchior (1836-1868).
Born in Burg (near Magdeburg), Prussia, Alexander Friedrich Rudolph Melchior came to Galveston with several older family members in 1853, when he was seventeen. They traveled to the Round Top-Winedale area. Later he lived in nearby Latium, a “Latin community,” settled by German freidenker, or Freethinkers. His painted decoration at Winedale features fruit, flowers and, especially, a singular green parrot. Various of these elements appear as sketches in his Tagebuch (daybook). He married in 1862, served as a flautist in the Civil War on the Confederate side and died in Galveston of yellow fever in 1868 when he was thirty-two.
The houses at Winedale are furnished with examples drawn from Ima Hogg’s collection of early Texas furniture, together with donations from area families. They exemplify a principal aspect of the Texas German culture, that of highest quality craftsmanship. The work of furniture makers such as Christofer Frederich Carl Steinhagen demonstrates the care and creativity of local German artisans of the Nineteenth Century. In 2013, the center collaborated with the Bob Bullock Texas State History museum to present Texas Furniture From The Ima Hogg Winedale Collection.
The Winedale Quilt Collection originates from 17 quilts and coverlets Miss Ima donated that has grown to include over 600 quilts spanning over 200 years. The collection includes supporting documentary evidence on quilts, techniques, materials, and quilt makers. View the collection here.