Mary Lesher is the Programs Manager at Dumbarton House. In this role, she plans and runs public programs that relate to the content and interpretation of the museum. In addition to programs at Dumbarton House, Mary works on research and exhibition projects that fall within her areas of interest and expertise. Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY where she worked as a museum assistant in addition to her studies. Before Dumbarton House, Mary served as the assistant director of a historic house museum in Hudson, WI, an interpreter with the Minnesota Historical Society at the Minnesota State Capitol, and as a consultant for history-based tourism companies. These diverse experiences gave Mary experience in all facets of museum work including programs, exhibition design, collections work, education, research, and interpretation. Mary holds a Master’s degree in Museum Studies with a focus in American race and gender history from the George Washington University. Her work has been published by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and she contributed to exhibitions at the George Washington University Textile Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Traveling Exhibition Service.
Mary joined Dumbarton House in August 2018.
Fun Fact: Since her time at the Minnesota State Capitol, Mary has harbored a deep love for capitol buildings. So far, she has visited 8 state capitols and marked the occasion in her state capitols passport. Mary plans to visit all 50 state capitol buildings within the next decade.