Readings of Interest

Cultural Histories of Objects

Ames, Kenneth L.  “Meaning in Artifacts: Hall Furnishings in Victorian America” in Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach, Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986): 240-260.

“Artifact of the Week.”

ASA Material Culture Caucus, “Twenty Questions to Ask an Object.”

Belolan, Nicole.  “From the Collection: ‘The Blood of Murdered Time’” Winterthur Portfolio (Winter 2011): 321-352.

Berger, Arthur Asa.  Bloom’s Morning: Coffee, Comforters, and the Secret Meaning of Everyday Life.  (iUniverse, 2001).

Carby, Hazel and David Brody, eds.  Design Studies: A Reader (Berg, 2009).

Clarke, Alison.  “Tupperware: Product as Social Relation” in American Material Culture: Tha Shape of the Field, Ann Smart Martin and J. Ritchie Garrison, eds.  (Winterthur, 1997).


Cooper-Hewitt, “Object of the Day”

Each Thing We Know is Changed Because We Know It, and Other Poems.  (Boise: Ahsahta Press of Boise State University, 1994, 1996, 2006).

“From the Collections of the American Jewish Historical Society.”  American Jewish History.

Goossen, Rachel Waltner.  “Disarming the Toy Store and RElaoding the Shopping Cart: Resistance to Violent Consumer Culture” Peace & Change 38.3.

Gruber, Samuel.  “The Plastics Collection.”

Jackson, Christie D.  “From the Collection: With Paper and Glue: Building the Commercial Success of an Arts and Crafts Toy” Winterthur Portfolio (Winter 2010): 351-386.

Johnson, Donald F.  “From the Collection: Combing the Roots of Colonialism: Jamaican Tortoiseshell Combs and Social Status, 1655-1692” Winterthur Portfolio (Winter 2009): 313-334.

Kurin, Richard.  The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects (New York: The Penguin Press, 2013).

Leveen, Lois.  “The Spy Photo That Fooled NPR, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, and Me.”  The Atlantic (June 27, 2013).

Lutz, Deborah.  The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects (W. W. Norton & Co, 2015).

MacGregor, Neil. History of the World in 100 Objects (

Mahoney, Michael S.  “Reading a Machine.”

Moore, William D.  “’You’d Swear They Were Modern’: Ruth Reeves, the Index of American Design, and the Canonization of Shaker Material Culture” Winterthur Portfolio (Spring 2013): 1-34.

“Object Lessons.”

“The Object of History.”

Panati, Charles.  Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things.  (William Morrow Paperbacks, 1989).

Price, Jennifer.  “A Brief History of the Plastic Pink Flamingo” in Flight Maps (New York: Basic Books, 1999).

Prown, Jules David and Kenneth Haltman.  American Artifacts (Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2000).

Roberts, Jennifer.  “The Power of Patience” Harvard Magazine,

“Sample Object Studies.”

Scharff, Virginia, ed.  Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015).

Shrum, Rebecca K.  “Selling Mr. Coffee: Design, Gender, and the Branding of a Kitchen Appliance” Winterthur Portfolio (Winter 2012): 271-298.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher, Ivan Gaskell, Sara J. Schechner, and Sarah Anne Carter.  Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Williamson, Bess.  “Getting a Grip: Disability in American Industrial Design of the Late Twentieth Century” Winterthur Portfolio (Winter 2012): 213-236.

Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture.

Wood, Elizabeth and Kiersten F. Latham.  “Object Knowledge: Researching Objects in the Museum Experience” Reconstruction 9.1 (2009).

Wood, Elizabeth and Kiersten F. Latham.  The Objects of Experience: Transforming Visitor-Object Encounters in Museums (Left Coast Press, 2013).