RESUME

Introduction

 

 

For more than 30 years Kathleen McDermott has popularized History and Culture.

 

As a Consulting Historian from 1986 to 1998, she authored illustrated histories of large American fashion, beauty, and consumer product companies including Max Factor, Butterick Patterns, Kinney Shoe, Timex, Buxton Wallet, Sherwin-Williams, and Price Waterhouse (Harvard Business School Press).

 

As Visiting, Senior Instructor and Visiting Professor from 1998 to present at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and concurrently Visiting Instructor for five years at Rhode Island School of Design (2005-2011), she has taught courses on 500 years of global and Western fashion, culture, and art history to hundreds of students. In January 2020 she debuted Global Heritage of 20th-Century Fashion and Art, offering inclusive, culturally-sensitive subject matter and pedagogy. See below for her fashion history public lectures and museum gallery talks as well as TV, radio, and print commentary.

 

In 2009, Kathleen created DIVA Museum: How Opera Singers Changed the World, 1700-1920, a multi-media art and education platform revealing the path-breaking role of opera singers in Western women’s empowerment. With OperaHub, she co-produced DIVAS, a newly-commissioned play with music, which premiered at Boston Center for the Arts June 21-July 1, 2018.

 

Since 2001, Kathleen has created and sold fashion-history-inspired handmade hats and accessories for private clients and Boston Lyric Opera as donor gifts.  See Kathleen’s Hats About Town photoblog for the visual record.

HAUTE HISTORY: 1997 to PRESENT

 

Fashion History

 

Visiting Instructor, Senior Instructor, Visiting Professor, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 1998 to present.  Courses created: Global Heritage of 20th-Century Fashion and Art; Fashion and Society: America, 1750 to Present; Fashion and Art in the 20th Century.

 

Instructor, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island. Apparel Design Department, 2005 through 2011.  Course created: History of Dress, 1750-present.

 

Public Speaking and Gallery Talks

 

Guest speaker, WGBH Boston Talks: The 1990s: Fashion Gets A Conscience, February 2020.

 

Guest speaker, WGBH Boston Talks: The 1980s: Fashioning Your Personal Truth, February 2019. Video here.

 

Guest speaker, Victorian men's fashion, WGBH's An Evening with Sherlock Holmes, February 2019.

 

Guest Instructor and MFA Gallery Tour Guide, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA.  Classroom slide lecture and gallery tour. Course created: Fashion and Art in the Time of Fauré's "Requiem," January 2017.

 

Style For All. Cloud Place, Boston. 2011. Gallery talk/Book launch.

 

WorkWorkWorkWorkWork: The Art of Charles LeDray. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2010. Gallery talk.

 

Hats and Fashion History, 1830-1930, Colonial Dames of Eastern MA, William Hickling Prescott House, Boston. May 2006. Lecture/gallery talk.

 

Chic Clicks: Creativity and Commerce in Contemporary Fashion Photography, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston: 2002. Lecture/gallery talk.

 

Public Radio Commentary

 

Your White Summer Pants: Summer Staple Or Power Play?  WGBH-News: The Curiosity Desk.  Interviewed by Edgar Herwick. May 29, 2016.

 

Political Threads, NPR's On the Media by WNYC-NY. Interviewed by Brooke Gladstone. February 1, 2008.

 

Television Commentary

 

Kate's Dress: Like? Dislike? NECN: New England Cable Network News. April 9, 2011, day of royal wedding. Discussing Kate's dress and fascinator popularity.

 

"Indo-Chic," Urban Update, WHDH Boston, Channel 7: October 28, 2001.

 

 

Fashion History and Style Writing

 

Style for All:  Why Fashion. Invented by Kings, Now Belongs to All of Us.  Lulu Press, 2010.

 

"Fashion Statements," Boston Sunday Globe, Fifty-Five Plus, April 23, 2000, 12.

 

"Vive la Différence" and "In Her Fashion," Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, Your Home, Feb. 27, 2000, 48, 56.

 

"E-Commerce and Kitsch of Christmas Past," Boston Globe (Dec. 23, 1999), 11.

 

"Design Coup," Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, Your Home (Sept. 26, 1999).

 

 

Exhibition Research and Writing

 

All for One and One for All! Uniforms in Fact and Fantasy, American Museum of Textile History, Lowell, MA: 2002. Design team.

 

à la Mode: Fashion Plates, 1795 to 1920 From the Boston Public Library’s Department of Rare Books: 2001. Curated exhibition and wrote all exhibition text.

 

A Life in Fashion: 1960-2000, Alfred Fiandaca Retrospective, Massachusetts College of Art: 2000. Wrote all exhibition text and researched images; oral history video interview of Alfred Fiandaca.

 

Dressing for Social Change: 1900 to 1925, Boston Public Library: 1999. Curated exhibition, selected garments, and wrote all exhibition text for historical costumes

 

Newspaper Commentary (Web and Print), 2001-09: click here.

DIVA Museum

 

Website: DIVA Museum

 

Author-Illustrator:  Notecards and Book

 

A Diva's Dozen, 1750-1914: 13 Singers Whose Genius Surmounted All Barriers and Made Them Immortal. 13-notecard set. DIVA Museum, 2013.

 

A Dazzle of Divas: 13 Singers Whose Genius Surmounted All Barriers and Made Them Immortal. 13-notecard set. DIVA Museum, 2014.  (Both notecard sets sold at Minnesota, Glimmerglass, and Santa Fe Opera shops.)

 

A Diva Story-Book: 26 Singers Whose Genius Surmounted All Barriers and Made Them Immortal.  DIVA Museum, 2014.

 

Online versions of all text and images on Tumblr DIVA Museum Archive  and Facebook DIVA Museum Page.

 

Videos Created

 

Triumphant Women 8-Video Diva History Playlist

 

  • Making Art About Beauty:  A Diva's Dozen, 2013
  • Diva: Goddess or Outcast? 2014
  • Diva Couture, 2014
  • Diva Jewels, 2014
  • Diva Costumes, 2014
  • Yankee Divas, 2015
  • African American Divas: Voices of Freedom, 2015
  • How Opera Divas Changed the World, 2016

 

Research Advisor and Co-Producer

 

Historical and costume advisor to artistic staff and cast for OperaHub’s  DIVAS, a world-premiere play with music at Boston Center for the Arts, June  21-July 1, 2018.

 

Diva Salons in collaboration with musical artists

 

"Feminism and Social Change in Song and Story: Lives and Music of Adelina Patti and Olive Fremstad," Community Music Center of Boston, March 2017.  With singer Chelsea Beatty and pianist Patricia Au.

 

"Bringing Her Back: Life and Music of Sissieretta Jones," November 2016.  With singer Arielle Rogers and pianist Mathew Fehr.

 

Press

 

Opera News.  DIVA Issue: "On Diva Jewels," Operapedia, November 2018.

 

Opus Affair. "Divas as Pioneers of Women's Rights Through Grit and Spectacle," June 2018.

 

WGBH-News.comBefore Women's Lib, Opera Divas Weighed Down By Diamonds And Haute Couture.

Interview by Amanda Kersey, February 2015.

 

Public Speaking

 

Triumphant Women: How Opera Divas Changed the World: 1700-1920

 

       All-Newton Music School, Nov. 2015.

       New England Opera Club, Nov. 2014, October 2017.

 

Courses

 

Triumphant Women: How Opera Divas Changed the World: 1700-1920.  Beacon Hill Seminars, Boston. 8-hour course. March 2016, March 2015.

 

Museum Art and Performance: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Living Room Host

 

Divas à la Mode, 1700-1920, February 2017.

A Diva's Cabinet of Curiosities, December 2015.

 

DIVA Print Zines and Web Slideshows, 2017

 

Tiaras and Social Change

It's Not Easy Being a Great Opera Diva When . . .

 

 

 

Hat Art and Design

 

Photoblog: Hats About Town

 

Since 2001, created and sold fashion-history-inspired hats and accessories: one-half purchase price donated to charity of buyer's choice.

 

During 2002-2006; 2016: created 75 commissioned hats, masks, accessories, and costumes for Boston Lyric Opera General Director and staff, donors, and guests.

 

2003-2019: Hat judge at Mayor's annual Hats Galore contest, Boston Parks Department ParkARTS benefit, Rose Garden, The Fenway.

BUSINESS HISTORIAN AND LAWYER, 1982-2001

 

Partner and Corporate Counsel, The Winthrop Group, Inc., Cambridge, MA: 1986 to 1997.

 

Assistant Attorney General, Government Bureau, Department of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA: 1984 to 1986.

 

Law Clerk, U.S. Magistrate, U.S. District Court, Boston, MA: 1982 to 1984.

 

Business History/Law Publications and Exhibitions

 

Timexpo Museum, Waterbury, CT. Research and conceptualization team, 2001.

 

Timex: A Company and its Community, 1854-1998 (Middlebury, CT: Timex Corporation), 1998.

 

Buxton: A Century of Innovation, 1898 to 1998 (Springfield, MA: Buxton, Inc.), 1998.

 

Kinney Shoe Centennial Exhibit, Disney World, FL: 1995. Exhibition text panels.

 

Retail Revolutionary: Kinney Shoe Corporation’s First Century in Footwear (New York: Kinney Shoe Corporation), 1994.

 

The MetLife Archives Museum (New York: MetLife), 1994. Museum brochure and text panels.

 

The MetLife Archives Museum, New York, NY: 1994. Video oral histories of four MetLife chief executive officers deposited in MetLife Archives.

 

Underwriting America’s Success: 125 Years of Metropolitan Life, 1868-1993 (New York: MetLife), 1993.

 

Accounting for Success: A History of Price Waterhouse in America, 1890-1990 (Boston: Harvard Business School Press), 1993. With D. Allen.

 

The Competitive Advantage of Nations, D. Dyer and A.M. Webber, eds. 40-page magazine accompanying HBS professor Michael Porter’s four part video (Boston: Harvard Business School Management Productions), 1993. On writing team.

 

Time-Based Competition, D. Dyer and A.M. Webber, eds. 32-page magazine accompanying three part video (Boston: Harvard Business School Management Productions), 1993. On writing team.

 

America’s Paint Company: A History of Sherwin-Williams (Cleveland: Sherwin-Williams Corporation), 1991. With D. Dyer.

 

"Pressure on the Price Waterhouse Partnership: Decisions of the 1960s and Implications for Today," in Business and Economic History, Vol. 22 (Fall 1993), pp. 295-304.

 

"The Development of the Massachusetts District Courts: 1821-1922," 15 Historical Journal of Massachusetts (June 1987).

 

"Massachusetts, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court," 31 Boston Bar Journal (Sept./Oct. 1987). With T. A. Barnico.

 

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

 

Instructor, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 1998 to present.  Courses created: Fashion and Society: America, 1750 to Present and Fashion and Art in the 20th Century.

 

Instructor, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island. Apparel Design Department, five years: 2005 through 2011.  Course created: History of Dress.

 

Partner and Corporate Counsel, The Winthrop Group, Inc., Cambridge, MA: 1986 to 1997.

 

Assistant Attorney General, Government Bureau, Department of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA: 1984 to 1986.

 

Law Clerk, U.S. Magistrate, U.S. District Court, Boston, MA: 1982 to 1984.

EDUCATION

 

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; 30 courses in studio arts Diploma program, 1989 to present.

 

Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA: LL.M. Legal History, 1982.

 

School of Law and Jurisprudence, State University of New York at Buffalo: J.D., 1981.

 

Alfred University, Alfred, NY: Double B.A. in English Literature and European History, magna cum laude, 1978.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

 

Board of Incorporators, Community Music Center of Boston, 2003 to 2020.

 

Chair, Bay Village Architectural Commission, 2017-20present; commissioner from 2011.

 

Executive Committee, Bay Village Neighborhood Association, 2001 to 2013.  Editor, The Bay Village News: 50 issues.