Maxwell Anderson earned his A.B. in art history at Dartmouth College in 1977; he received his A.M. (1978) and Ph.D. (1981) degrees from the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. He served for seven years as a curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1981-87), and almost thirty years as a museum director at leading institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. (1987-2015). Former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, he is president of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the contributions of artists from the African American South. He also serves as a Consulting Scholar, Mediterranean Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum.
Dr. Anderson has published dozens of articles and the monograph Pompeian Frescoes in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1987), along with two books: The Quality Instinct: Seeing Art Through a Museum Director’s Eye (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012) and Antiquities: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2016). He was decorated as a Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Knight Commander in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) in 1990, and decorated with the rank of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic) in 2010.