Ann Smart Martin

(608) 263.5684

205 Elvehjem

Office Hours
Mondays 10:30 – 11:45, Tuesdays, 2:45 – 3:30, and by appointment
Stanley and Polly Stone (Chipstone) Professor
Ph.D. in History and Early American Material Culture, College of William and Mary, 1993
M.A. in American Studies (Archaeology), College of William and Mary, 1986
B.A. in History and Anthropology, Duke University, 1982
Research Interests
American material culture: American decorative arts and domestic interiors, Vernacular arts (Self-taught and folk art), Craft practices, Historical archaeology. Museums and curatorial practice.


Buying into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008)

Makers and Users: American Decorative Arts, 1630-1820 from the Chipstone Collection (Madison: Elvehjem Museum of Art, 1999)

Editor, American Material Culture: The Shape of the Field (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997)

Guest editor, Material Culture in Early America in William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, LIII, no. 1 (January 1996)

“Commercial Space as Consumption Arena: Retail Stores in Early Virginia,” in People, Power, Places: Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2000)

“Magical, Mythical, Practical and Sublime: the Meanings and Uses of Ceramics in America”Ceramics in America, vol. 1, no.1 (2001):

“Ribbons of Desire: Gendered Stories in the World of Goods,” in Gender, Taste, and Material in Britain in America in the Long Eighteenth-century, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.)

“Tea Tables Overturned: Rituals of Power and Place in Colonial America,” in Furnishing the Eighteenth Century (London: Routledge Press 2006.)

Digital Humanities Projects

Editor, Creators, Collectors & Communities Making Ethnic Identity Through Objects. (Madison: L&S Learning Support Services, 2017)

Primary Investigator, A Colonial Merchant: The Ledger of William Ramsay.


AH 363: American Decorative Arts and Interiors: 1620-1840
AH 264/764: Dimensions in Material Culture
AH 500/: Proseminar: Special Topics in Art History:
– Material Culture of Early America
– Decorative Arts and
– Material Culture of Eighteenth-Century America
AH 563/763: Proseminar in Material Culture:
– Method and Theory
AH 600: Special Topics in Art History:
– Arts of Cultural Blending, Race and Ethnicity in America
– Crafting an Exhibition: American Craftsmen and Consumers
– American Decorative Arts: Colonial and Federal Periods
AH 601/602: Introduction to Museum Studies and Exhibition Practice I:
– Reflecting Taste: Eighteenth-Century Furnishing and Portraits in America
– Creators, Collectors & Communities: Making Ethnic Identity Through Objects
– Historic Ceramics: Art, Technology, Culture
AH 800: Seminar: Special Topics in Art History:
– History of Ceramics and Allied Arts in America
– Ceramics in America: Material Culture Analysis

Exhibition Classes:
Objects of nature (scientific instruments, zoological specimens, art) 2013
American material culture, decorative arts and art: 1999, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2013
Women’s craft (Victorian and contemporary) 2010
Historical consumerism: part of American Enterprise, permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, 2015.