Curators in the Division of Anthropology, 1873-Present

Chairs/Curators in Chief

Albert Smith Bickmore 1873-1890
James Terry 1891-1893
Frederick W. Putnam 1894-1902
Franz Boas 1904-1905 (officially resigned in 1906)
Clark Wissler 1906-1941
Harry L. Shapiro 1942-1969
Stanley A. Freed 1969 (acting chair) 1970-1976
David Hurst Thomas 1976-1983
Craig Morris 1983-1990
Ian Tattersall 1990-1997
Enid Schildkrout 1997-2002
Charles Spencer 2002-2009
Laurel Kendall 2009-present
Bella Weitzner 1935-1956 (1935-appointed assistant curator; retired in 1956)

Curators, North American Ethnology

Franz Boas 1895-1905 (officially resigned in 1906)
Livingston Farrand 1903-1904
Clark Wissler 1905-1941
Robert H. Lowie 1909-1921
Pliny E. Goddard 1910-1928
Alanson Skinner 1913-1915
Harry Tschopik Jr. 1947-1955
Stanley A. Freed 1960-1999
Peter Whiteley 2001-present

Curators, North American Archaeology

Harlan I. Smith 1900-1911
Nels C. Nelson 1912-1943
Helge Larson 1943-1944
James A. Ford 1946-1964
Richard A. Gould 1965-1971
David Hurst Thomas 1972-2020

Curators, South American Ethnology

Harry Tschopik Jr. 1947-1955
Robert L. Carneiro 1957-2010

Curators, South American Archaeology

Charles W. Mead 1912-1925
Ronald L. Olson 1930-1931
Wendell C. Bennett 1931-1937
Junius B. Bird 1939-1973
Craig Morris 1975-2006

Curators, Mexican and Central American Archaeology

Marshall H. Saville 1894-1907
Herbert J. Spinden 1909-1921
J. Alden Mason 1925
George C. Vaillant 1928-1940
Gordon F. Ekholm 1942-1974
Charles Spencer 1991-present

Curators, African Ethnology

Colin Turnbull 1959-1969
Enid Schildkrout 1973-2005
Alex de Voogt 2009-2018

Curators, Asian Ethnology

Laurel Kendall 1983-present

Curators, Pacific Ethnology

Margaret Mead 1925-1969
Michiko Takaki 1970-1973
Paige West 2009-2010
Jenny Newell 2012-2017

Curators, Biological Anthropology

Louis R. Sullivan 1918-1925
Harry L. Shapiro 1926-1970
Ian Tattersall 1971-2010
Brian Richmond 2014-2016
Ashley Hammond 2018-present


Notes: The primary source for this list was Bella Weitzner's "A Year by Year Summary of the Department of Anthropology, 1871-1952." Supplementary information was obtained from the biography files kept in the Museum library and from the C.V. files kept in the Anthropology Archives. List compiled by Alicia Carmona, May 1999 and updated by Kristen Mable, January 2004.