Old New England in the Twentieth-Century Imagination: Public Memory in Salem, Deerfield, Providence, and the Smithsonian Institution

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Greenfield's study focuses on an analysis and comparison of the two ways that colonial New England was portrayed in historic houses and museums in the twentieth century: as a repository of elite culture and as a home to the ordinary, working Americans and their everyday accomplishments. Her dissertation examines how New England was portrayed at Salem, Massachusetts; Deerfield, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and the Smithsonian Institution. Greenfield also addresses how these portrayals of colonial New England in turn affected the communities around them, through community identity, historic preservation zoning laws, and commemorative practices. She traces the work of amateurs and the professionals who followed them, such as George Francis Dow, Antoinette Forrester Downing, and C. Malcolm Watkins, delineating their viewpoints and influences.


  • Downing, Antoinette Forrester
  • Dow, George Francis
  • Watkins, C. Malcolm
  • Pioneer Village (Salem, Massachusetts)
  • Historic Deerfield (Museum)
  • Hall of Everyday Life in the American Past (Exhibition)
  • Copp Family Collection, National Museum of American History
  • Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography



Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


  • 2002
  • Revolution, 1775-1783


  • Design
  • Historic buildings
  • History--United States--19th century
  • Exhibitions
  • Historical museums
  • Museums
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Museums--Philosophy
  • Museum curators
  • Museum exhibits--Design
  • Museum exhibits


  • Providence (R.I.)
  • United States
  • Deerfield (Mass.)
  • Washington (D.C.)
  • Salem (Mass.)

Physical description

285 pps

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