Professional historian joins Board of Directors of the controversial National Women's History Museum

Historians in the News
tags: womens history



The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) today announced the addition of Catherine Allgor, Ph.D. to its Board of Directors. As a highly credentialed and respected historian with extensive museum experience, Dr. Allgor brings the unique and necessary combination of scholarly achievement and fundraising experience that NWHM has needed.

Dr. Allgor is a leading historian of first ladies and a frequent commentator on television and in other media on issues having to do with the role of the first lady. Her 2006 book, A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation, served as the basis for the film “Dolley Madison,” produced by PBS for its American Experience series.

As a Professor of History at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), Allgor has created and taught numerous courses on women’s history, the history of race and slavery, and political history at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. While at UCR, she was appointed to a three-year term as Presidential Chair, a prestigious appointment given only to select, distinguished members of the university’s faculty. Dr. Allgor also serves as the Nadine and Robert A. Skotheim Director of Education at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, where she is responsible for nearly 20 staff members working on a variety of projects from school tours to teacher training to partnerships with the Pasadena Unified and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. She also oversees more than 1,000 volunteers, including 400 docents who provide enrichment for students and adult visitors touring the art, botanical and library collections, as well as temporary exhibits.

Dr. Allgor received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation on women and politics in early Washington garnered the George Washington Egleston Prize for the best dissertation in American History at Yale University and the Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation in U.S. Women’s History in the country.

Dr. Allgor is frequently called on to participate in teacher training institutes nationwide, has consulted at numerous museums, and has served as an advisor to the White House, the U.S. Mint and the National Portrait Gallery, among others. In addition, she serves on the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, a presidential commission that funds teachers in their pursuit of advanced degrees.

Prior to joining UCR, Allgor taught at Claremont McKenna College, Harvard University, and Simmons College.

“On behalf of NWHM and its Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Catherine Allgor to the Board. Catherine’s reputation as a leading history scholar combined with her deep experience in the museum community makes her uniquely qualified to contribute to the Board,” said Dr. Gretchen Green, Acting Chair of the NWHM Board of Directors.

NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wages added “NWHM represents a new model for museums in that the days of federally-funded new museums have passed. As such, it is imperative that all members of the Board of Directors have significant experience in and understanding of fundraising.”

“As an academic, my mission was always to bring stories of women’s lives to scholarly attention,” said Allgor. “Joining the NWHM’s Board is more than an honor. It is a chance to bring women’s history into the public conversation.”

About the National Women’s History Museum: Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. Current legislation is underway to create a Congressional Commission that would be charged with producing a feasible plan which would include the governance, estimated cost, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.




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