Participant Info

First Name
Kate Clarke
Last Name
Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery
Website URL,6841.aspx
D-Day, memorials, francophone studies, death studies, trauma studies, French history, American history, transatlantic relations, Franco-American relations, World War II, war cemeteries, monuments, memory studies, art history, art of the United States, portraiture, midcentury modernism, neoclassicism, Art Deco, American architecture, mourning, material culture
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Kate Clarke Lemay is a historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC. There, she is lead historian for the signature exhibition, America’s Presidents. She also serves as coordinating curator for the Smithsonian’s Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.” Dr. Lemay’s book, Triumph of the Dead: American WWII Cemeteries, Monuments and Diplomacy in France (University of Alabama Press, 2018) explores the relationship between art, architecture, war memory, and Franco-American relations. Her research honors include an IIE Fulbright research grant and two grants from the Terra Foundation in American Art. In her free time she enjoys watching her goofy Great Dane play ball.

Recent Publications

Book: Triumph of the Dead: American World War II Cemeteries, Monuments, and Diplomacy in France. (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2018).

Editor, Special Issue, “The Construction of Transnational Remembrance in the War Cemeteries of the Twentieth Century,” International Journal of Military History and Historiography. Volume 38: (2018).

Essay, “Politics in the Art of War: the American War Cemeteries,” in Lemay, Kate Clarke, Ed. “The Construction of Transnational Remembrance in the War Cemeteries of the Twentieth Century.” International Journal of Military History and Historiography. Volume 38: (2018).

Editor, Votes for Women: An American Awakening, 1840-1920. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2019).

Essay, “’Où sont les dames?’” American Women’s Oversea Hospitals Unit,” in Lemay, Kate Clarke, Ed. Votes for Women: An American Awakening, 1840-1920. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019).

Essay, “Reconstruction Reconsidered: The Gordon Collection of the National Portrait Gallery,” in Reaves, Wendy Wick, Ed. Beyond the Face: New Perspectives in American Portraiture. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2018).

Essay, “Icon, Portrait, and the Real: Felix de Weldon’s Iwo Jima Memorial,” in Robertson, Breanne, Ed. The Flag Raisings at Mount Surbachi, Iwo Jima. (Quantico, VA: The Marine Corps University Press. 2018).

Article, “‘No Vain Glory: Militarism, Diplomacy and Art in the American War Cemeteries in France,” The Journal of War and Culture Studies. 8: 2 (May, 2015), 175-196.

Book Chapter, “Retrofuturism and Steampunk” in The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction, (Co-Authored with Elizabeth Guffey) ed. Rob Latham. Oxford University Press, 2014.

  • see review of Guffey’s and Lemay’s essay here from The New Yorker.

Book Chapter, “Gratitude, Trauma and Repression: D-Day in French Memory,” in D-Day in History and Memory: Comparative Perspectives, Eds. Sam Edwards, John Buckley and Michael Dolski. Denton, TX: The University of North Texas Press, March 2014.

Media Coverage
Tobias Grey, “Marlene Dietrich in Photos: A Study in Contrasts,” The New York Times, November 15, 2017. o Ann Hornaday, “At the National Portrait Gallery, Marlene Dietrich exerts a seductive, enigmatic pull,” The Washington
Country Focus
United States and France
Expertise by Geography
France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
5, 7, 8, 9
Expertise by Topic
American Presidents, Art & Architectural History, Diplomacy, Material Culture, Military, Museums, Public History, Women, World War I, World War II