Madelyn Shaw is currently an independent curator specializing in the exploration of American history and culture through textiles and dress. She has held curatorial and administrative positions at the Heritage Museums and Gardens (Sandwich, MA); New Bedford Whaling Museum; The RISD Museum; The Textile Museum (Washington, DC); and the Museum at FIT (New York). Her Civil War sesquicentennial book and traveling exhibition, Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, opened at the American Textile History Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts in June 2012 and the book received a bronze medal in US History from the Independent Publishers Association in 2013. Additional recent publications include Clothing through American History: The British Colonial Era for ABC-Clio Press (2013); “Slave Cloth and Clothing Slaves: Craftsmanship, Commerce, and Industry” in the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts (2012); “Silk in Georgia, 1732-1840: Sericulture to Status Symbol” in Proceedings of the Third Biennial Henry D. Greene Symposium (2008); and “H. R. Mallinson & Company” in American Silk: Entrepreneurs & Artifacts, 1830-1930 (2007), winner of the Millia Davenport Publication Award. She has held research fellowships from the John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University and the Wintherthur Museum. She spent the decade after college working in professional and educational theater before pursuing a museum career.
Academic Research/Areas of Interest
Continuing and current research interests include: the influence of the American silk industry on the development of American design in the early 20th century; the place of textiles in the American China Trade; the geometry of cloth and clothing; and the global history of cordage and sailcloth.
- BA, S.U.N.Y., Binghamton
- MA, Fashion Institute of Technology
HISTORY OF WESTERN TEXTILES: FOCUS ON EUROPE AND AMERICA
WORLD TEXTILES: TRADE, TRADITIONS, TECHNIQUES