Call for Proposals

Tuesday 3 August 2021

In an effort to engage with the local arts community once again, The NSCDA invites artists of the DC region to submit design proposals for a public artwork created for the grounds of Dumbarton House, the national headquarters of The NSCDA. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has had a profound effect on the lives of all, including Dumbarton House, its staff, visitors, Board members, friends, and neighbors. We would like to recognize and pay tribute in some small way to this year of difficulty and loss, as well to the many acts of kindness, sacrifice, and humanity witnessed throughout the global community. An art installation situated in a spot of quiet contemplation on the museum grounds seems an appropriate way to acknowledge this exceedingly difficult period. Review the full RFP here.

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America Announces New Executive Director

Friday 4 June 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Carol Cadou Named Executive Director NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House June 4, 2021, WASHINGTON—The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) is pleased to announce that Carol Cadou will be the Executive Director NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House on September 7, 2021. “We are thrilled that Carol has accepted the position of Executive Director of the NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House. She is a highly skilled, dynamic and proven leader. Carol will build on our organization’s momentum, from the launch of Great American Treasures a year ago to the successful completion of the Comprehensive Campaign and the most recent American Alliance of Museums reaccreditation of the Dumbarton House museum. We are in exceptional hands with Carol as our leader,” said Katherine Cammack, NSCDA National President. Since May 2018, Cadou has served as the first Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO of Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Before joining Winterthur, she spent nearly twenty years at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, first as Curator and later as Senior Vice President for Historic Preservation and Collections. Prior to Mount Vernon, she was the Curator for the Maryland State Art Collection in Annapolis and the Curator of Education and Interpretation at the Historic Charleston Foundation. “The Dames have been leading the preservation of our nation’s historic sites since 1891. The continued vibrancy and success of this women’s organization represents the remarkable energy and commitment of women across the country,” said Cadou. “I’m looking forward to working with the NSCDA leadership and staff to reach new heights in historic preservation and in teaching American history.” Cadou is a graduate of Wellesley College, the Sotheby’s American Arts Course, the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, and in 2019 she received her executive MBA from Ohio University. Her publications range from The Installation of Historic Architecture at Winterthur Museum to The George Washington Collection: Fine and Decorative Arts at Mount Vernon. Carol’s latest book, Stewards of Memory: The Past, Present, and Future of Historic Preservation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, was released by the University of Virginia Press in 2018. PDF of Press Release

The Pocahontas Pin

Friday 19 February 2021

We are pleased to present to you the newest addition to our collection of wearable history: The Pocahontas Pin. From the NSCDA’s first certificates of membership, engraved and printed by the iconic Tiffany & Co., to the Virginia Society’s most recent successes, the Virginia Scarf and Celebration Shawl, we have always made sure that anything representing our Society and our colonial history did so in all its fullness. The Pocahontas Pin tells many stories, both old and new. Our design goals were to:
  • Honor the work of our predecessors, who designed the Queen Elizabeth (The Virgin Queen) enamel lapel pin, in honor of our Commonwealth’s namesake.
  • Highlight those inspirational people of the past who were bridge builders… those who constructed relational bridges that brought people together, furthering understanding and fostering fellowship.
  • Acknowledge the importance of women in our Commonwealth and in our country, celebrating all our members, both past and present, and their accomplishments. We do this by celebrating our earliest qualifying female ancestor, Pocahontas of the Powhatan (also known by her Christian name, Rebecca Rolfe).
All these things come together in the Pocahontas Pin:
  • It continues our work in honoring women who were significant in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia, moving along the timeline (from where we began with Queen Elizabeth I) and crossing the bridge from England to the Colonies and back again. Our Society’s relationship with England, through Pocahontas, is also reflected in our donation of two stained glass windows at Saint George’s Church, Gravesend, England, the final resting place of Pocahontas.
  • It is based on the only known portrait of Pocahontas. The details of the portrait and the letters and newspapers of the day reveal that she was accepted and honored by the British nobility. The feather fan she holds has the double meaning of noble rank in England, as ostrich plumes were only used by the nobility. The plumes are also reflective of her noble Native American heritage, as feathers were used as a sign of power in the native communities.
  • It is significant in that Pocahontas is not only Virginia’s earliest qualifying female ancestor, she is perhaps, the NSCDA’s most famous.
For more about The Pocahontas Pin and how to order, please visit