Profile profile for DavisNE

Nancy Davis

Curator Emeritus

Ph.D., American Studies, George Washington University, 1987
M.A.T., Museum Education, George Washington University, 1976
M.A., (all but thesis), Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz, 1972
B.A., English, Russell Sage College, 1970

Research Specialties: 

American material/visual culture; technologies in the home; Asian influence on American material culture; consumption and market studies; gender studies


Current Projects:

Creating Hawai'i
Portable Bathtubs: Tub Bathing from the Early 19th and 20th Centuries
Sweet and Sour: The Americanization of the Chinese Restaurant
Research on mid 19th-21st century Costume jewelry
Research on 19th century Asian immigration to America
Latino/a Costume Collecting Initiative
American Enterprise

Past Projects:
Barriers to Bridges: Asian American Immigration After Exclusion, 2008

Professional Affiliations: 

Mid Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, Board member
George Washington University, associate professorial lecturer, American Studies
1772 Foundation, Trustee
American Association of Museums


The Chinese Lady: Afong Moy in Early America
"The Role of Women in Sino-American Commerce, 1830-1930" essay in the publication : The Dragon and the Eagle: American Traders in China, A Century of Trade from 1784-1900 Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Many Voices, One Nation: Material Culture Reflections on Race and Migration in the United StatesEnter title of the publication here. To display italics, you must use HTML tags in this format: Book Title.

Essay - "Communities of Refuge in Frontier Illinois"

American Enterprise: A History of Business in America Washington, DC, Smithsonian Books, 2015
"A New Look at America's China Trade" in Dynamics and Intersections in Popular Culture United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
"Book review: Old Dominion New Commonwealth: A History of Virginia, 1607-2007 by Ronald L. Heinemann, John G. Kolp, Anthony S. Parent, Jr., and William G .Shade (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007)," Maryland Historical Society Magazine, Spring 2008.
“A View of the American Home at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art,” Smithsonian Museum of American Art Bulletin, Summer 2007.

A short review of objects on view at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art that explicate the idea of home.

"Exhibition review: The Other Promised Land: Vacationing, Identity and the Jewish American Dream at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, 2007," The Journal of American History, Summer 2007.
"Baltimore Quilts in Bath, England," America in Britain, Fall 2002.

Explicates the design of several quilts in the American Museum in Bath, England.

"Book review: Architects to the Nation by Antoinette J. Lee (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2000)," The Public Historian, Spring 2002.
“Early 19th Century American Composition Ornament by George Andrews,” in Country Houses and Collections: An Anthology.  London, England: The Attingham Trust, 2002.
"Maryland History in Film," with Leith Johnson in Filming Maryland. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society Press, 2000.

Discusses the role of feature films as historical documents.

The Baltimore Album Quilt Tradition, Tokyo: Kokusai Art Publication, 1999, second printing 2001.

An examination of the role of women and aspects of gentility in the making of Baltimore Album quilts in the Maryland Historical Society collection.

"Marylanders in Portraiture," Annapolis, Maryland: Government House, State of Maryland, 1999.

Presents a broad view of those who contributed to the state’s heritage.

"Exhibition review: Making Washington City: Proprietors, Dreamers and Builders, exhibition at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.," The Public Historian, Spring, 1992.
"Cargo Manifests and Custom Records from the American China Trade," Committee on East Asian Library Bulletin, February, 1989.

An article that explores the use of American manifest records to record the history of trade with China.

"The Celestial Empire and the Early American Republic," Asian Studies Association Bulletin, Spring, 1989.

A discussion of trade issues between China and America in the early 19th century.