Patricia R. Anawalt is founding director of the Center for the Study of Regional Dress located at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. Anawalt specializes in the history of worldwide ethnographic clothing. In 1994, she received the AIA's James R. Wiseman Book Award for her publication (with Frances Berdan), The Codex Mendoza.
For the 1996/1997 academic year Patricia Anawalt served as the AIA's Charles Eliot Norton Memorial lecturer. She has been a member of the AIA governing board and has served on many AIA committees. Richard L. Anawalt was the owner and CEO of Anawalt Lumber Company, based in Los Angeles.
The Anawalt Lectureship was established in 2001. The Anawalt Lecturer, who is chosen by the AIA Lecture Program Committee, will speak on a Mesoamerican topic and visit one local society annually.