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1975–Today

Jimmy Griffin’s retirement in 1975 marked the end of 31 years of enlightened leadership. It was decided then that the directorship would rotate among the curators so that the burden would be shared. Richard Ford was the first to follow Griffin. 

In the 1970s, Dean Billy Frye created a curatorship in Latin American Archaeology for Joyce Marcus. A newly created curatorship for North America was filled by John Speth, and John O’Shea succeeded Chris Peebles (Great Lakes). Carla Sinopoli succeeded Karl Hutterer as Asian curator. Recently, in a move that would undoubtedly please Jimmy Griffin greatly, Robin A. Beck became curator of North American archaeology and inherited Griffin’s fabulous ceramic repository. In 2013, Raven Garvey joined the Museum as assistant curator of circumpolar archaeology and Brian Stewart became assistant curator of paleolithic archaeology.  

The Museum has a history of creating new collections and changing or combining others. We refuse to be locked into a static set of categories and curatorships. More changes are anticipated for the future, as we try to stay ahead of new trends in anthropological archaeology. 

Throughout our history, the Museum has been greatly enhanced by the contributions of numerous research scientists, visiting scholars, staff, and students—too numerous to mention here, but essential to dynamic and innovative research and teaching, and to the development, study, and care of the important research collections that we curate.