Lisa Kathleen Graddy

Lisa Kathleen Graddy

Curator

B.A., History, University of Maryland, 1985

M.A., Museum Science, Texas Tech University, 1987

Research Specialties: 

My principal research interests center on the ways that Americans, particularly women, have found a public voice and wielded political power through organizing, participating in, and building institutions such as reform movements, voting rights, suffrage organizations, political parties.

  • Women’s political history
  • Political campaigning
  • Voting Rights
  • First Ladies and White House collections

 

Projects: 

Current Projects:

  • Creating Icons: How We Remember Woman Suffrage, National Museum of American History, opening in 2020 in the Taubman Gallery
  • Smithsonian Women’s History Initiative
  • American Democracy traveling exhibition

 

Past Projects:

Exhibitions

  • American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith, National Museum of American History. June 2017 (permanent installation); co-curator.
  • The Nation We Build Together, National Museum of American History. June 2017 (permanent installation); co-curator.
  • Clara Barton’s Red Cross Ambulance, 2E landmark object, National Museum of American History. May 2017; curator.
  • Hooray for Politics, National Museum of American History. February 2016; co-curator.
  • The Doll’s House, National Museum of American History. December 2015; curator.
  • The First Ladies, Special display of Michelle Obama’s 2013 inaugural gown, National Museum of American History. January 2014-January 2015; curator.
  • Honoring Alice: Demonstrating for Womens Rights in Washington, D.C., Womens History Month Case, White House. March 2014 and March 2015; curator.
  • 1913: The National Woman Suffrage Parade, National Museum of American History. March 2013-October 3013; curator.
  • Women’s Voices, Women’s Rights: Objects from the Women’s Political History Collection, National Museum of American History, Womens History Month Case, White House. March 2013; curator.
  • The First Ladies, National Museum of American History. November 2011 (permanent installation); curator/project director.
  • Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, National Museum of American History. December 2012-September 2014; NMAH collections manager.
  • Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life, National Museum of American History, January 2009-May 2011; collections manager.
  • A First Lady’s Debut, National Museum of American History. March 2010-October 2011; curator.
  • A Letter from George Washington, November 30, 1785, National Museum of American History, February 2010-May 2010; co-curator. First Ladies at the Smithsonian, National Museum of American History. December 2008-October 2011; curator.
  • La Causa: The Delano Grape Strike of 1965-1970, National Museum of American History. September 2005 - January 2006; collections manager.
  • From Selma to Montgomery: The 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights March, National Museum of American History. March - September 2005; collections manager.
  • First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, National Museum of American History/Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service traveling exhibit. November 2004; co-curator and collections manager.
  • Vote: the Machinery of Democracy, National Museum of American History. June 2004-January 2005; collections manager.
  • The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, National Museum of American History/Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service traveling exhibit. February 2002; collections manager and member of the curatorial team.
  • The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, National Museum of American History. November 2000 (permanent installation); collections manager and member of the curatorial team.
  • Exhibiting George Washington, National Museum of American History showcase exhibit. October 1999-May 2000; curator.
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops, 1820-Present, National Museum of American History traveling exhibition, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Museum of Tolerance. November 1999-March 2000; collections manager.
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops, 1820-Present, National Museum of American History. April-November 1998; collections manager.
  • We the People: Winning the Vote, National Museum of American History, September 1996-April 2000; collections manager.

Selected Presentations:

  • “The Kaiser Wilson Banner,” a National Women’s Equality Day program sponsored by the National Woman’s Party and the National Park Service at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Washington, D.C. August 26, 2017; presenter with Jennifer Krafchik.
  • “The “Petticoat Scandal,” Smithsonian Institution podcast, Sidedoor, episode 5, “Unintended Consequences.” 8/16/2017.
  • “Women and the Vote: What Difference Do We Make?” Panel presentation sponsored by the National Woman’s Party at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Washington, D.C. March 30, 2017; moderator. “Women in WWI,” panel for American History (After Hours), National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. April 13, 2017; “panelist.
  • “Buttons, Hats, and Signs: The 2016 Presidential Campaign in Three Dimensions, colloquium presentation with Jon Grinspan, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C., 11/8/2016.
  • “Style and Influence: The First Ladies’ Fashions,” panel presentation with Tim Gunn, Tracy Reese, and Valerie Steele, William G. McGowan Theater, Washington, D.C. September 9, 2014. Organized by the National Archives in partnership with the White House Historical Association. “The First Ladies Exhibition: Changing Fashions, Changing Roles,” Smithsonian Associates, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C., March 12, 2014.
  • “Mary T. & Lizzy K.,” post-performance discussion of the relationship between Mary Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckly with the cast of the play, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C., April 11, 2013; panelist.
  • “The Smithsonian’s First Ladies Exhibit,” symposium for members of the National Communication Association in conjunction with their annual meeting, 11/21/2013.
  • “The History of Women’s Political Rhetoric,” panel presentation at A Woman’s Perspective: Women in American Democracy symposium sponsored by the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, Washington, D.C., October 2011; panelist.
  • “We Hold a Banner for a Sword,” for the National Archives panel presentation, The National Woman’s Party and Political Rhetoric: Visual Propaganda in the Battle for the Vote, Washington, D.C., August 2011.
  • “The Lewis Collection: Washington Relics at the Smithsonian Institution,” talk in connection with Woodlawn’s exhibit, Holding History: Family Treasures Return to Woodlawn, Alexandria, VA. September 2002.
  • “Images of Washington,” talk for the National Museum of American History’s Looking American series, Washington, DC, September 1999.
  • “Purple, White, and Gold: The Colors of the Women’s Movement,” talk for the National Museum of American History’s Looking American series, Washington, D.C., July 1998.

Publications:

  • American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith, co-authored with William L. Bird, Harry R. Rubenstein, Barbara Clark Smith, Smithsonian Books/Washington, D.C., 2017.
  • The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection, co-authored with Amy Pastan, Smithsonian Books/Washington, D.C, 2014.
  • “The Seamstress and the First Ladies,” in Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection, pp. 80-83, Smithsonian Books/Washington, D.C., 2013, Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop (eds.).
  • “The Fate of Mary Lincoln,” in Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection, p. 334, Smithsonian Books/Washington, D.C., 2013 Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop (eds.).
  • First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, co-authored with Edith P. Mayo, Scala Publishers Ltd./London, 2004.
Professional Affiliations: 
  • National Council on Public History
  • Organization of American Historians

Publications

First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, co-authored with Edith P. Mayo, Scala Publishers Ltd., 2004