For more than 30 years Kathleen McDermott has popularized History and Culture. As a Consulting Historian from 1986 to 1998, she authored illustrated histories of large American fashion, beauty, and consumer product companies including Max Factor, Butterick Patterns, Kinney Shoe, Timex, Buxton Wallet, Sherwin-Williams,and Price Waterhouse (Harvard Business School Press). As Fashion History Instructor from 1998 to present at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and concurrently for five years at Rhode Island School of Design (2005-2011), she has presented slideshows and lectures on 500 years of Western fashion, culture, and art history to hundreds of students. Her classes are designed to create informed and activist adults, passionate about women’s history, fashion history, and art museums. She wrote, illustrated, and published in 2010 an accessible fashion history handbook Style for All: Why Fashion, Invented by Kings, Now Belongs to All of Us. See her online resumefor fashion history publiclectures and museum gallery talks as well as TV, radio, and print commentary.
Since 2001, Kathleen has created and sold fashion-history-inspired handmade hats and accessories for private clients and Boston Lyric Opera as donor gifts. See Kathleen’s Hats About Townphotoblog for the visual record.In 2009, Kathleen created DIVA Museum: How Opera Singers Changed the World,1700-1920, a multi-media art and education platform revealing the pathbreaking role of opera singers in Western women’s empowerment.
Incorporating Kathleen’sdeveloped strengths as artist, teacher, and historical popularizer, DIVA Museum’s communication tools and public activities are designed to reach the widest possibleaudience and influence the cultural dialogue. DIVA Museum lists her diva history videos and courses, public speaking, and museum performances. Her diva biographical notecards have sold in Santa Fe, Glimmerglass, and Minnesota Opera shops. In March 2017 she produced DIVA Salon, a sold-out evening of diva song and feminist history. With OperaHub, she co-produced DIVAS, a newly-commissioned play with music, which premiered at Boston Center for the Arts June 21-July 1, 2018.