Lea S. McChesney, PhD

Lea McChesney

Title: Anthropologist, Educator, Curator
Company: Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Lea S. McChesney, Anthropologist, Educator and Curator at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educator for dedication, achievements, and leadership in anthropology and education.

Throughout Dr. McChesney’s career, she has focused on Native American culture and art, working in various roles on the subject, as well as maintaining affiliation with organizations that center on these topics. Her work in anthropology, education, and curating is deeply-seated in these interests. In her current endeavors, Dr. McChesney provides her expertise as a curator of ethnology at the Maxwell Museum, a position she has held since 2014, and as a research associate with the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, a role she has held since 2005. Prior to these positions, Dr. McChesney has worked as a research assistant, adjunct instructor, and assistant professor at the University of Texas. She has also provided her expertise as a guest curator of the Hopi Iconography Project at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Furthermore, Dr. McChesney has lectured and taught at the State University of New York at Brockport, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

In addition to these roles, Dr. McChesney participated in the Artisan Production in the World Market Seminar for the School of Advanced Research in 2012. She has been a private collector and consultant of Native American Art and a consultant for the Florida Museum of Natural History. Dr. McChesney earned a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College in 1976, a Master of Arts from Wesleyan University in 1978, a Master of Philosophy from New York University in 1991, and a Doctor of Philosophy from New York University in 2003.

In order to better serve her field, Dr. McChesney has maintained affiliation with a variety of organizations that have aided her professional development. Some of these include the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society for Applied Anthropology, the Native American Art Studies Association, the American Alliance of Museums, and the American Anthropological Association. Dr. McChesney has curated a number of exhibitions, including ‘Before Our Eyes: Another Look at American Indian Art,’ ‘S’ae Y’ama,’ ‘Native North American Art: Handman Traditions,’ and ‘Qahin: Hopi Ceramic Traditions, 1400-1990.’

Dr. McChesney has been recognized on numerous occasions for her work. Her most recent acknowledgements include being the recipient of the Deans Faculty Recognition Award from the University of Toledo in 2014 and the Zora Neale Hurston Travel Award from the Association of Feminist Anthropology. In addition, she has received grants, such as the Culture Builds Communities Grant from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester, the Research Incentive Funds Grant from the University of Missouri, Kansas, a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Furthermore, Dr. McChesney has received the Frank Hamilton Cushing Award from Wesleyan University and the June Frier Esserman Dissertation Fellowship from New York University.

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