Decorative Arts & Design History

Smithsonian Associates in partnership with
The George Washington University

Master's Thesis Topics 1998 - Present


Teixeira, Teresa. From Fabulous to Frump: The Changing Fashions of March Washington.

Wingerson, Amber. The Glass that Decorates: The History, Designers, and Stained-Glass of the Church Glass and Decoration Company of New York.


Botello, John. Made "Fit for Kings": The 1960s Kennedy Renovation of Blair House, The President's Guest House.

Cantrell, Stacey. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics: Key Elements in the Evolution of the Contemporary Art Quilt.

Malnic, Braden. Craft Transvalued: The Pottery of James Whitney.

Mills, Alanna. From the Black Forest to Philadelphia: Gottleib Vollmer, Upholsterer and Cabinetmaker, 1841-1883.

Skinner, Kristin. Creations of Domestic Tastes: Portieres in the American Interior, 1876-1910.

Smith, Meagan. The Furniture of John and Hugh Finlay.


Clark, Lauren. A (Hair) Work of Memory: Mattana Fairchild's Decorative Memorial Works in the Post War South.

Viksnins, Samantha. Steel Corsets and Ocular Protection: The Democratization of Steampunk Through Fashion.

Zmuda, Natalie. The Ecclesiastical Figural Mosaics of the Tiffany Studios (1891-1931).


Carpenter, Caroline. Elevation: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes.

Guzzon, Gina. America Crafts: The Contemporary Pursuit of a Handmade Material Life.

Louderback, Rebecca. Acculturation and Resistance: Jewish Immigrant Dining in Baltimore, 1890-1930.

O’Keefe, Sara. Science on the Table: A Botanical Approach to Floral Decoration on Porcelain in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century.

Reddick, Meaghan. An American Identity: Shoemaker’s Labels in Colonial, Revolutionary and Federal America, 1760-1820. 


Carleson, Nora. Harry Collins and the American Art of Dress: 1884-1980.

Colby, Yve. Intersecting Biographies: The Life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Told Through Her Possessions (1810-1860).

Householder, Kathleen. American Eastlake Furniture.

Lockwood, Susan. Artistic Adaptation in the Jewish Diaspora: The Ashkenazi Approach to Ornament in the Decorative Arts.

McCormick, Rebecca. The Cutter Quilt Fad, 1980 to Present: A Case Study in Value-Making in American Quilts.

Randolph, Molly. Isaac Broome: Ott and Brewer's Ceramic Artist.


Dunlap, Gloria.  Heartbreaking, Funny, Inventive, Original, Cliché:  The Tour, Artworks, and Craftsmen of OBJECTS: USA.

Heimiller, Edward.  From Medici to Bourbon: The Evolution of Taste and the Development of a Vanderbilt Style.

Hobler, Linnard.  Pure, Bright & Solid:  Raising a New Standard for John McMullin and His Silver. 

Hood, Julia.  Furniture that Winks: Wit and Conversation in Postmodern Studio Furniture, 1979-1989.

Jones, Leslie.  Pierre-Antoine Bellangé’s Furniture for the White House: Its Evolution Within the Interior.

Krupsky, Amy.  The Peter Joseph Gallery and its Influence on Studio Furniture.

Myaskovskaya, Yana.  Humble Motifs on Luxury Objects: Fedor Rückert’s Enamelware in the Russian Silver Age, 1880-1917.

Pinson, Elaine.  ‘The Dignity of Labor’: African-American Connections to the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1868-1915.

Schiavo, Monika.  A Room with a Viewpoint:  Katharine Prentis Murphy and the Colonial Revival in the Age of Modernism, 1950-1960.

Simpson, Nan.  The Hall in American Homes. 


Grant, Elena.  Russian Mosaic and Its Italian Connection:  Malachite in the Decorative Arts in the 1780s-1800s.

Modrak, Jessamyn.  Super Style at Supercenters: The Democratization of High-End Fashion Designers’ Names Through Big-Box Garments, 2003-2010.

Morrison, Amanda.  These Walls Can Talk: Social and Political Commentary in the Contemporary Wallpaper Designs of Jessica Smith.

Nicoli Drumming, Mandy.  Marxism, the Vkhutemas, and Electric Mixers: Highlighting the Forgotten Ideology of the Design Laboratory.

Shaifer, Jennifer.  Metal Rising: The Forming of the Metal Arts Guild, San Francisco (1929-1964).

Wolov, Beverly.  Handmade European Lace in the Gilded Age, 1880-1930.


Hershon, Marissa. An Egyptian Revival Reception Room at Cedar Hill, Warwick, Rhode Island, 1872-1877.

Kuehl, Susanna.  Henri Matisse, Textile Artist.  Costumes Designed for the Ballets Russes Production of ‘Le Chant du Rossignol,’ 1919-1920.

Lindsay, Jennifer. Mary Walker Phillips: “Creative Knitting” and the Cranbrook Experience. 

Raimond, Gina. A Matter of Taste: The Interior Designer William C. Pahlmann and the Creation of an American Style in the Post-World War II Era.

Rauch, Natillie. Glitter, Glass, and Jesus: The Development and Evolution of Rauch Industries, Inc.’s Christmas Ornaments.


Adams, Jennifer. Oscar Wilde and The Aesthetic Movement.

Hintze, Brandon. Cultivating the Crafts: Aileen Osborn Webb and the Instituting of American Craft, 1934-1964.

Hopkins, Whitney. Native Décor: American Indians in The House Beautiful, 1896-1916.

Jenkins, Sandra. National Society of Craftsmen, New York, New York (1906-1920),the Arts and Crafts Movement and Early Twentieth Century Craft Practice and Education.

MacKay, Keith. The White House Interiors of Edgar Yergason and Caroline Harrison, 1890-1892.

Mezzino, Sarah. Power Suit: Edith Bolling Galt Wilson’s Interpretation of the Fashions Fit for the First Lady, 1914-1921.

Mort, Kamissa. Russell W. Porter’s Land’s End Artist’s Colony in Port Clyde, Maine: 1906-1919.

Newman, Margaret.  From Old Furniture to a Refined Collection:  Shaping the Blair Family Furniture Collection 1912 to 1932.

Nottingham, Leslie. Stepping Up in Lifestyle: The Role of American Shoe Designer David Evins in Fashion and Society, 1947-1991.

Teague, Randi. The Atlantis Hotel, Paradise Above the Sea: A Study of Art Deco Hotel Interiors in Miami Beach.

Varner, Elizabeth. Bolstering a National Identity: President Andrew Johnson’s Pottier & Stymus Furniture in the United States Treasury Department, 1865.


Conkling, Veronica. Courting John Henry Belter: Decoding His Decorative Carvings on American Furniture 1840-1860.

Davison, Betsy. A True North Britain’ in the Shenandoah Valley: How Heritage and Politics Affected the Furniture of John Shearer (1790-1820).

Scholz, Scott. John Rupp and the Painted Furniture of the Rupp Cabinet Manufactory, Hanover, Pennsylvania. 


Gray, Jacquelyn. Eighties Minimal: Pursing the Limits of Technology in Lighting Design.

Lopez, Ana. Functionless Forms: Sculptural Metal Objects from the Postwar Studio Craft Movement.


Hill, Landon. Charlton & Co.: America’s Cartier.

Jones, Christopher. Robert Beverley and the Furniture of Blandfield.


Conway, Kelly. Art Glass of Union Glass Company, Somerville, Massachusetts (1893-1927).

Einhorn, Robyn. The Murphy Bed: The Making of a Pop Culture Icon.

Farlowe, Alice. Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild: Industrial Designs for Living.

Licht, Pamela. Selling Old Europe: Historical Revival Furniture by Berkey & Gay of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1900-1919.

Pierce, Anne. Cast Iron Garden Furniture from the J.L. Mott Ironworks: Profiting from the Picturesque.

Swanson, Kyra. Juliana Busbee: Creator, Reformer, and Promoter.

Wright, Diane. Frederick Wilson (1858-1932): An American Stained-Glass Designer.


Parrott, Lindsy. The Making and Marketing of Louis C. Tiffany’s Favrile Pottery.

Trussell, Rebecca. Dorothy Wright Liebes, Weaving for Art, Craft, and Industry, 1920-1970.


O’Donnell, Anne. The Arts and Crafts Greeting Card, 1908-1925: A First Look.


Friedman, Rhona. The French Furniture of James Monroe: A Chapter in the History of the French Taste in America in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.

Stam, Michele. Covering Mass-Produced Objects with Popular Needlework: Patterns and Kits in the Twentieth Century.


Ersts, Heather. The Diffusion of Knowledge and Growth of Taste in Decorative Art, The Decorative Art Society of Baltimore, 1878-1929.

Searing Young, Megan. Scaled Down: The Evolution of the Personal Weighing Machine in America, 1920-1940.


Orstein Bergman, Ruth. Furnishing the Nation’s Capital: Woodies and Popular Taste in Washington, DC, 1920-1940.


Kneipple Cantor, Sarah. Formica is the Heart of Your Kitchen: The Formica Company and the American Housewife, 1930-1959.

McMillan, Barbara. The Architect’s Tea Service. 


Brown Callahan, Ashley. Ilonka Karasz (1896-1981), Twentieth-Century American Designer.