PAST, CURRENT & UPCOMING WORK
KEY RESEARCH AREAS
Eighteenth-century British and French art, landscape design, and dress as racialized spaces
Anglo-American visual and material culture, dress, and identity in global contexts and ecologies
U.S. women's hereditary societies and their collecting and interpretive strategies as it relates to the promotion of nationalism and the creation of mythologies surrounding "true" Americanism
Book Review in Wintherthur Portfolio, Spring 2021
Article on U.S. womens' hereditary societies and their exclusionary interpretive strategies of early American period rooms is forthcoming in the themed issue of History: Journal of the Historical Association, Women and History, c.1500-Present (September 2021).
CURRENT & ONGOING PROJECTS
Current research includes recovering the identities of Mount Vernon's enslaved seamstresses, underscoring their lives, labor, and the material products they created.
Based on her dissertation research on a silk gown owned by Martha Washington that was later refashioned with captive labor, Cynthia will reproduce this original gown to learn more about not only the woman who wore it -- but those who made and mended it. their process, broader ecosystem, and what can be gleaned from making. #notjustMartha
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
Girl with a Tray
Philip Mercier (1689-1760)
Oil on canvas
Height: 91.4 cm (35.9 in); Width: 71.3 cm (28 in)
Cynthia's work has been featured in History, the Journal of the Historical Association (blog), Textile History, The Junto, Washington's Quill (The Washington Papers Project/The University of Virginia), Mount Vernon Magazine, What Weekly Magazine, The Saranac Review, Ellipsis: Literature and Art, The Slush Pile Magazine, The Baltimore Review, and on MountVernon.org.
Her most recent presentations include talks at the The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, Yale University, and the DAR Museum in Washington, D.C.
She looks forward to presenting at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Omohundro Institute's Annual Conference in 2021.*
*These events, originally scheduled for 2020, were postponed due to COVID-19.