Oscar Fitzgerald

Photo of Oscar Fitzgerald
Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Decorative Arts & Design History
[email protected]


Oscar Fitzgerald is the author of Four Centuries of American Furniture, the definitive reference on the subject. A historian with broad interests, he was Director of the Navy Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and curator of the 19th Tingey House, the oldest residence in the Navy. An avid collector of American 18th and early 19th century furniture, he is a nationally known specialist on American furniture from colonial times to the present. He has lectured to audiences nationwide and even on a number of cruise ships, most notably the Queen Elizabeth II.

As a decorative arts consultant, he has worked with Dumbarton House, the early 19th century headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America and has completed projects on the furniture collections of National Park Service sites at Harpers Ferry, the Custis-Lee Mansion, Clara Barton National Historic Site and the home of Frederick Douglass. A James Renwick Fellowship to study the studio furniture field led to several publications and invitations to judge both the Smithsonian and the Baltimore Craft Shows.

Active in historic preservation in Alexandria, Virginia, he was a former member of the city’s Archeological Commission and chairman and founding member of the Historic Alexandria Resources Commission responsible for advising the city on managing its half dozen historic properties. He also served as Chairman of the city’s Board of Architectural Review for the Old and Historic District, which administers one of the oldest historic district ordinances in the country.

Professor Fitzgerald teaches "American Colonial and Federal Furniture," "Nineteenth Century Victorian Furniture," "Twentieth Century American Furniture,” "Furniture Connoisseurship," and "Historic Furniture-making Technologies."



  • American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Rowan Littlefield)
  • Three Centuries of American Furniture (Prentice Hall)
  • Four Centuries of American Furniture (Wallace-Homestead Book Company)
  • Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery: Smithsonian American Art Museum (Fox Chapel Publishing)
  • New Masters of the Wooden Box: Expanding the Boundaries of Box Making (Fox Chapel Publishing)
  • The Green Family of Cabinetmakers: An Alexandria Institution (Historic Alexandria)
  • In Search of Joseph Nourse, 1754-1841: America's First Civil Servant (National Society of the Colonial Dames of America)



PhD in American, European, & Far Eastern History, Georgetown University


Professional Organizations

  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Architectural Review, Alexandria
  • Architectural Review Committee for the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, Tennessee