Wonderful Women Wednesday: Sheila Mutchler

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

During her 15 years with the Smithsonian, Sheila Mutchler impacted numerous museums. She helped set up the National Museum of Natural History’s Discovery Room in 1974. At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Mutchler helped make the museum’s exhibits and programs more accessible to the public from 1975 to 1976. She then moved on to manage the National Museum of Natural History’s O. Orkin Insect Zoo between 1976 and 1979, before transferring to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. She later returned to the National Museum of Natural History from 1981 and 1989 as the coordinator of special exhibits. In 1981, Mutchler served as the vice-chairperson of the Smithsonian Institution Women’s Council

Following her time at the Smithsonian, Mutchler worked as exhibits director of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and as the director of exhibitions and curator of the JFK collection at the Florida International Museum.

Mutchler stands in front of an exhibit space at NMNH.

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