About Me


I taught U.S. history at Fitchburg State College (now University) from 1992 until I retired in 2013 and moved to Santa Fe. 

Before that, I was a museum curator for fifteen years, at a large history museum in Rochester, New York. I curated many different collections, but mainly related to American domestic life during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I specialized in glass, ceramics, silver, and other metals. 

I also am an historian of food and have written two books on that topic. One of the great joys of my teaching career was leading groups of students to Verona, Italy, for a study abroad program, where I taught a course on the historical foodways of the Mediteranean. 

Another area of interest is the American colonial revival and my third book is a cultural biography of Alice Morse Earle, one of the most important popularizers of this movement. For many years I lived in New Ipswich, NH, but have recently moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In my new Southwestern context, I am discovering a whole new “colonial”—that of the Spanish colonizers and their Native American hosts.

Retirement has allowed me to pursue my other passion, painting with watercolors (and more recently, pastels). I have always painted. My mother was a painter. My first painting to be exhibited publicly was of a bluebird, hung upside down at the Memorial Art Gallery Clothesline Show in Rochester, NY. I was about five. Since then, I have painted intermittently. I majored in Art History, but painted a lot as part of that curriculum. In 2003, I started painting seriously, after six-week long trip to Tuscany and Venice. I am now a member of the Eldorado Arts and Crafts Association here in New Mexico and was part of their Studio Tour for the first time in May, 2018. I’ll be doing the tour again this May so stay tuned.

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Venice, 2003 

Santa Fe, 2018

© Susan Williams 2019