Kate Clarke Lemay, Ph.D. is a historian and curator at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Dr. Lemay has published essays on the role of American art in transatlantic postwar diplomacy and her book, Triumph of the Dead: American WWII Cemeteries, Monuments and Diplomacy in France (University of Alabama Press) won publication support from the Terra Foundation in American Art. Her research has been supported by an IIE Fulbright (France); the Smithsonian American Art Museum; a Centre National Pour Les Recherches Scientifiques fellowship at the Mémorial de Caen Peace Museum in Normandy; and the Emily Landau Center for American Modernism at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. At the Portrait Gallery, Dr. Lemay is lead historian for America’s Presidents and Director of PORTAL = Insights + Analysis, NPG’s scholarly center. Dr. Lemay is also Coordinating Curator for the Smithsonian-wide American Women’s History Initiative. Dr. Lemay’s exhibitions include those focusing on Marlene Dietrich, the American suffragist movement, and the Spanish-American War of 1898. Prior to coming to Washington, Lemay taught courses in American art history at Brigham Young University and Auburn University Montgomery.
- Historian, National Portrait Gallery 2022 -
- Acting Senior Historian, National Portrait Gallery 2021 - 2022
- Coordinating Curator of the American Women's History Initiative, Smithsonian Institution 2018 - 2020
Education And Training
- Game changer in public-facing women's history. Founding Director of PORTAL, the groundbreaking scholarly center at the National Portrait Gallery supporting scholarship in portraiture, biography, and American history. A leader in #becauseofherstory, the pan-Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. Original research, widely published in military history (with a focus on women) and the memory of World War II. Bilines in the New York Times, CNN; exhibition reviews in 150+ global media outlets. Highly skilled in achieving team-oriented objectives and creating diverse and intersectional exhibitions.
Awards And Honors
- Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Award, conferred by Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Awards, 2018
- Research Fellow, Mémorial de Caen Peace Museum, conferred by NYU and Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique, 2011
- Lemay, Kate C. and Caragol, Taína. 2020. "Imperial Visions and Revisions." Panorama, 6, (1). https://doi.org/10.24926/24716839.10096. 2020
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. "Winning the Right to Vote Was the Work of Many Lifetimes." The New York Times, Aug 13, 2020, 2020
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2018. "Politics in the Art of War: The American War Cemeteries." International Journal of Military History and Historiography, 38, (2) 223–254. https://doi.org/10.1163/24683302-03802005. 2018
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2018. "The Construction of Transnational Remembrance in the War Cemeteries of the Twentieth Century." International Journal of Military History and Historiography, 38, (2) 159–169. https://doi.org/10.1163/24683302-03802002. 2018
- Lemay, Kate. 2018. "War Cemeteries as Agents of Collective, Transnational Memory." The International Journal of Military History and Historiography, 38, (2). 2018
- Lemay, Kate C. 2017. "In Memory's Eye: The Improbability of War's Remembrance." Reviews in American History, 45, (2) 323–329. https://doi.org/10.1353/rah.2017.0046. 2017
- Lemay, Kate C. 2015. "'No Vain Glory:' Militarism, Diplomacy and Art in the American War Cemeteries in France." Journal of War & Culture Studies, 8, (2) 175–196. https://doi.org/10.1179/1752627215Z.00000000070. 2015
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. "Honoring the War Dead: America's Military Cemeteries." [Podcast] 2021
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. Votes for Women: A Portrait of American Persistence. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2019
- Ward, David, Barber, James G., Fortune, Brandon Brame, and Lemay, Kate C. 2018. America's Presidents: National Portrait Gallery. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. 2018
- Lemay, Kate. 2018. Triumph of the Dead: American WWII Cemeteries, Monuments and Diplomacy in France. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. 2018
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. "Citizenship Rights and World War I: Women and the Vote." In Votes for Women: A Portrait of American Persistence. Lemay, Kate Clarke, editor. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2019
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. "Politics in the Art of Portraiture: Felix de Weldon's Marine Corps War Memorial." In Investigating Iwo: The Flag Raisings in Myth, Memory & Esprit de Corps. Robertson, Breanne, editor. 102–199. Quantico, Virginia: Marine Corps History Division. 2019
- Lemay, Kate C. 2018. "Reconstruction Reconsidered: The Gordon Collection of the National Portrait Gallery." In Beyond the Face: New Perspectives on Portraiture. Reaves, Wendy Wick, editor. 98–115. Washington, DC: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. 2018
- Lemay, Kate. 2014. "Gratitude, Trauma and Repression: D-Day in French Memory." In D-Day in History and Memory: The Normandy Landings in International Remembrance and Commemoration. Dolski, Michael, Edwards, Sam, and Buckley, John, editors. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press. 2014
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. [Book review] "War and Remembrance, by Thomas H. Conner." The Strategy Bridge, 2019
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. The Hidden Story of Two Black Women Looking Out From the Pages of a 19th-Century Book. Apr 12, 2021 2021
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. The untold story of women who risked their lives to do good -- and get their rights. CNN.com. CNN. 2020
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. How the U.S. Designed Overseas Cemeteries to Win the Cold War. Zocalo Public Square. Feb 14, 2019 2019
- Lemay, Kate Clarke and Jones, Martha S. 2019. The hidden story of two African-American women looking out from the pages of a 19th-century book. The Conversation. Sep 9, 2019 2019
- Lemay, Kate C. 2016. Natalie Portman's "Jackie" Reminds Us Why JFK's Assassination Became Our National Tragedy. 2016
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. 100 Years | 100 Women Virtual Watch Party [presentation]. 100 Years | 100 Women, August 18, 2020.
- Lemay, Kate. 2015. American Veterans Remember: The Power of Pilgrimage in the Memory of World War II [presentation]. Society for Military History, April 11, 2015. Montgomery.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke and Caragol, Taina. 2021. Curating 1898 - Après-Guerres et Sorties de la Guerre [presentation]. November 21, 2021. Zoom: Université de Lille.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke, Caragol, Taína, and Katzman, Laura. 2019. Curating 1898: The American Imperium [presentation]. 1898: Imag(in)ing the Carribean in the Age of the Spanish-American War, June 25, 2019. Berlin, Germany.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke and Caragol, Taína. 2021. Curating 1898: The American Imperium [presentation]. May 13, 2021.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Curating Votes for Women [presentation]. April 7, 2021. West Chester Community College.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Curating Votes for Women [presentation]. April 30, 2021.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke, Porter, Corinne, and Ruth, Janice. 2020. Curator's Cut: An Inside Look at DC's Suffrage Exhibits A Roundtable Discussion with DC's Women's Suffrage Curators [presentation]. The 18th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities, May 27, 2020.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. D-Day in French and American Collective Memory [presentation]. DDAY: the 75th Anniversary, Material Culture Forum, May 13, 2019. Washington, DC.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2019. Designing Memory: Style, Aesthetics and Diplomacy in the American War Cemeteries [presentation]. The Transatlantic Studies Association 18th Annual Conference, July 9, 2019. Washington, DC.
- Lemay, Kate. 2016. Designing Memory: The American War Cemeteries in France [presentation]. National History Day, Normandy Institute, The University of Maryland, 2016. College Park, MD.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Designing for Memory and Legacy [presentation]. May 28, 2021. Zoom: Virginia War Memorial.
- Shaw, Gwendolyn DuBois and Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Exhibiting the First Ladies: A Curator's Perspective [presentation]. The Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture Conversation Series, February 16, 2021.
- Herrera, Ricardo and Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. First in War, First in Peace, First in the Arts of His Countrymen: Charles Willson Peale, George Washington, and the Visual Creation of American Identity [presentation]. August 3, 2021. The Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture. Online: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke and Kastner, Carolyn. 2018. Framing the Struggle: Early 20th Century Women Modernists [presentation]. College Art Association Annual Conference, February 21, 2018. Washington, DC.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Grief and Pilgrimage: The French Adoption of the American War Cemeteries [presentation]. The Marshall Legacy Lecture Series, May 20, 2021.
- Lemay, Kate. 2016. Hunting the Show: Curating Marlene Dietrich at the National Portrait Gallery [presentation]. Celebrating the Visual and Performing Arts, Brazos Form at Mayborn Museum, Baylor University, 2016. Waco, TX.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Insights from a Curator [presentation]. March 29, 2021. Montgomery, Alabama.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke, Graves, Fatima Goss, Ngai, Mae, and Carmon, Irin. 2020. Marching Forward: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future [presentation]. Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women's History, March 1, 2020. New York.
- Cahill, Cathleen D., Ganteaume, Cécile R., and Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Native American Women and the Politics of Portraiture at the Turn of the Twentieth Century [presentation]. The Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture Conversation Series, March 2, 2021.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. Portraits of Persistence [presentation]. Senator Heinz History Center, September 2, 2020. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. Roundtable on Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative at the National Gallery of Art [presentation]. February 3, 2020. Washington, D.C..
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. Testaments to Sacrifice: WWII Memorialization in Europe and Asia [presentation]. World War II and Historical Memory, March 5, 2021. Website: National WWII Museum.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke, Schuessler, Jennifer, Jarrett, Valerie, Jones, Martha S., and Ware, Susan. 2020. The Legacy and Impact of the 19th Amendment | The Road to Women's Suffrage [presentation]. May 19, 2020.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. The Legacy and Impact of the 19th Amendment | The Road to Women's Suffrage [presentation]. May 19, 2020.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke, Jarrett, Valerie, Jones, Martha S., Ware, Susan, and Schuessler, Jennifer. 2020. The Road to Women's Suffrage [presentation]. The New York Times "Unfinished Work" Series, May 19, 2020.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2021. The Role of U.S. and German War Cemeteries in French Postwar Memory [presentation]. Remembering World War II: The Making of War Memories in Europe, Asia, and the United States, 2021. Lee Lecture at the University of Virginia. Zoom: University of Virginia.
- Lemay, Kate. 2016. The Struggle For Justice: Curating Without a Face [presentation]. SECAC (Southeastern College Art Conference), October 21, 2016. Roanoke.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2022. These Honored Dead: How Should We Remember Our Fallen? [presentation]. WWII at 75 and Beyond, Memory Wars: National WWII Museum Conference. Online: National World War II Museum.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. VIP Tour of "Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States" [presentation]. November 14, 2020.
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2020. Votes for Women [presentation]. Georgia Historical Association,
- Lemay, Kate Clarke. 2018. Women Take the Lead [presentation]. Sixth Feminist Art History Conference, American University, September 28, 2018. Washington, DC.
- She the People Film
Professional Service Activities
- National Endowment for the Humanities Visual Culture of the American Civil War and its Aftermath, Participant 2021
- Yale Public History Institute, âAfrican American History and Public Institutionsâ Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition Participant 2016
- National Portrait Gallery Department