Emily Orr

Emily Marshall-Orr

Emily is a PhD Candidate in the History of Design at the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum. Her dissertation, “Dressing a New Interior: The Development of Department Store Display, 1880–1920” explores how visual merchandising advanced as a design profession in department stores in London, New York, and Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century. Her research aims to reinterpret the history of the department store from the point of view of the shopfitters, window dressers, and display managers who devised themes, arrangements, and new apparatuses that transformed the shopping experience. She graduated with an M.A. in Visual Culture: Costume Studies from New York University (2008) and developed her research on fashion and commercial architecture with a thesis on the retail strategy of the contemporary fashion label Comme des Garçons.

Since graduating with a B.A. in Art History from Colgate University (2006), Emily has built curatorial experience at leading museums in the greater New York area including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Center of Photography. Most recently as the Marcia Brady Tucker Senior Fellow in the Yale University Art Gallery’s American Decorative Arts department (2009–2012), Emily contributed to the collection catalogue A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 as well as assisted on the installation and interpretation of the exhibitions Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, and a series of chronological galleries and two colonial period rooms for a recent expansion project. Emily has taught as adjunct faculty in Fashion Studies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York.

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