About Me


The Very Curious Doctor Z is Dr. Mary F. Zawadzki. Known as “Franny” to her family and friends, she holds a doctorate from The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, in 19th century American and European art history and visual culture. She specializes in illustration, the printed image, print technology, and art and aesthetic education in 19th century in America. Her current scholarship focuses on the magazines printed by The Scribner Co., later The Century Company, and their role in the art and aesthetic education movement in the late 19th century. 

Her other scholarly … and not-so-scholarly … interests include Goth and Punk Rock, Halloween, mourning and mortuary art, feminist art history and theory, artists’ materials and methods of learning, political cartoons and satire, childhood and family studies, “crap art” and other ephemera, Colonial and Early American cookery, music, and costuming, and the “stuff” of everyday life in America in the 18th and 19th century. Doctor Z is also interested in the fashion and lifestyles of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s … especially Flappers, Dandies, and World War II state-side efforts like rationing and victory gardens.


In other words, The Very Curious Doctor Z is … well … curious.