The National Building Museum’s exhibitions are temporarily closed until March 2020.
The Museum Shop remains open Mon–Sat 10 am–5 pm.

Sarah A. Leavitt, Ph.D.

202.272.2448, ext. 3455


At the National Building Museum, Sarah’s exhibitions have included Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 (2017), Cool & Collected: Recent Acquisitions (2015), House & Home (2012), and House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage (2009).

In addition to her work at the Museum, Leavitt sits on the National Historic Landmark Committee of the National Park Service, which recommends sites for nomination to the Secretary of the Interior. She has also served as a consultant to other museums such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and the National Women’s History Museum, and has been an invited lecturer all over the country, from the Wichita, Kansas Historical Society to Hood College in Frederick, Maryland; and from the 92ndSt.YTribeca in New York City, to the Wisconsin Book Festival.

From 2002-2006, Leavitt was a curator at the Office of NIH History at the National Institutes of Health, where her research led to an exhibition on the history of the pregnancy test kit. Her first exhibition was mounted at the Middlesex County Historical Society in Connecticut in 1990 and explored the experiences of local soldiers in the Civil War; at various other museums she has curated exhibitions on subjects ranging from student athletes to Nobel Prize winners. In the late 1990s, Leavitt was an original staff member of the Women of the West Museum in Boulder, Colorado. The team developed programming, women’s history walking tours, and early online exhibitions.

Selected Publications

Taliesin Diary: A Year With Frank Lloyd Wrighteditor and essay-writer
2013 Book Award of Merit, Wisconsin Historical Society

“Threads of Dissent: Conflict in an Online Community” in Motherhood Online
Michelle Moravec, ed., Cambridge Scholars Press

“’Who’s Your Daddy?’ Fatherhood Explored” (with Lewis A. Leavitt), in Investigating Veronica Mars
Rhonda V. Wilcox and Sue Turnbull, eds., McFarland Publishers

“Inside the Lines: Parking and Social Stratification”
Blueprints, National Building Museum Online

“’A Private Little Revolution’: The Home Pregnancy Test Kit in American Culture”
Bulletin of the History of Medicine 80:2 (Summer), pp317-345

From Catharine Beecher to Martha Stewart: A Cultural History of Domestic Advice
University of North Carolina Press