Decorative Arts & Design History

Smithsonian Associates in partnership with
The George Washington University

Oscar Fitzgerald

Oscar Fitzgerald

American furniture, studio furniture, history of craft


Oscar Fitzgerald is author of Four Centuries of American Furniture, the definitive reference on the subject. A historian with broad interests, he was Director of the Navy Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in American, European, and Far Eastern history from Georgetown University and is an avid collector of American furniture of the Queen Anne and Chippendale periods. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Architectural Review in Alexandria, Virginia, and has served as a decorative arts consultant for a number of historic sites including Dumbarton House, the Frederick Douglass House, and the Custis Lee Mansion. Dr. Fitzgerald served recently as a judge for the Baltimore Craft Show and the 30th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show. He also serves on the Architectural Review Committee for the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly in Tennessee, one of only two Chautauquas to have survived in continuous operation since its founding in the late l9th century.

Selected Publications

Four Centuries of American Furniture (Wallace-Homestead Book Company)

Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery: Smithsonian American Art Museum (Fox Chapel Publishing)

New Masters of the Wooden Box: Expanding the Boundaries of Box Making (Fox Chapel Publishing)

Recent Presentations

Seminar on Studio Furniture, Rhode Island School of Design, May 2012

Co-Curator of "Boxes and their Makers," a contemporary craft exhibition originating at the Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. Dr. Fitzgerald gave a lecture in at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama when the exhibit traveled there in May 2012.