Emeritus Member Biography
Class III (2007)
William J. Chiego was appointed the second director of the McNay Art Museum in 1991 and retired in 2016 after leading the McNay for twenty-five years. His previous posts include director of Oberlin College's Allen Memorial Art Museum, and curatorial posts at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, and the Toledo Museum of Art. At the McNay, Dr. Chiego is credited with shrewdly building on the strengths of the museum's original collections and developing new areas of strength, including art after 1945 and sculpture from the 19th century to the present. As well, he has emphasized documentation and conservation of the collections and has supported greatly expanded educational programming. Dr. Chiego initiated and oversaw the major $7.1 million renovation of the museum's landmark Spanish Colonial Revival facility in 2001 and has, with the museum's board of trustees, spearheaded the $50.8 million capital campaign for and construction of the Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions, which opened in June 2008. He has organized scores of exhibitions and has produced numerous publications. He is an alumnus of the University of Virginia and received a Ph.D. in Art History from Case Western Reserve University in a joint program with the Cleveland Museum of Art. He is a former resident fellow of the Yale Center for British Art, and has served as adjunct professor and lecturer at Oberlin College and at Trinity University in San Antonio. He is an alumnus of the Museum Management Institute and is a former board member and active participant in the Association of Art Museum Directors.
Dr. Chiego received a B.A. in history and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Virginia. He earned a Ph.D. in the history of art from Case Western Reserve University in a joint program with the Cleveland Museum of Art. Dr. Chiego has been a resident fellow at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, and a participant in the Museum Management Institute. He is active in the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and is a former board member of that organization.
Dr. Chiego is married to Elizabeth Lee Chiego, realtor with Phyllis Browning Co., and board member of the MLP Alumni Association. They have two grown daughters.