Decorative Arts & Design History

Smithsonian Associates in partnership with
The George Washington University

Elizabeth Deans

Elizabeth Deans

Materiality and Objectivity of Architecture, Design drawing, and Interiors

Elizabeth teaches seminars in design history and material culture. Her courses explore interdisciplinary relationships between spaces and objects, investigating themes on mimesis, intellectual culture, materiality, objectivity, and interiority. Her doctoral dissertation explores British design albums and the role manuscript albums played on architectural education and professionalization of the architect during the long eighteenth century.

Courses Taught

Survey of Decorative Arts and Design I (1400-1800)

Survey of Decorative Arts and Design II (1800-Present)

The Art of the Book: Global Materiality

The Home: History and Theory of an Idea

Survey of Ceramics

Recent Presentations

“Marvelous Volumes: Artistry of the 18th-century Architect’s Portfolio.” Rienzi Symposium, A Sense of Proportion: Architect-Designed Objects, 1650–1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, September 24, 2016.

“Popular Sculpture: Travel Books and the Promotion of Design Drawing in 18th-Century Europe.” Architectural Stimuli for Human Existence at Conference for Doğu Akdeniz Akademik Araştırmalar Merkezi, Istanbul, Turkey, June 21, 2015.


PhD History of Art, University of York, UK, dissertation in progress

MA History of Decorative Arts and Design, Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt

BA Design Studies, Architectural History, University of Maryland