This lectureship was established in 1999 by Robert D. Taggart and his wife Anna Marguerite McCann. Anna Marguerite McCann has been active in the AIA for many years. She has served as a member of the Governing Board and on many AIA committees. She was invited by the AIA to be the Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lecturer for 1994/1995 and in 1998 she was selected as the AIA Gold Medal winner.
The Metcalf Lectures are on the subject of numismatics and their role in archaeological research as well as in art and historical research. The donors believe that coins, with their images and legends, are an essential source for any archaeologist dating a site or studying portraiture, architecture, religion or history and desire that numismatics be a part of the lecture program being provided by the AIA. Although much of numismatics is related to the ancient world, the lectures need not be limited to the ancient world as coins are relavant for other areas and times as well.
The Metcalf Lecturer is chosen by a subcommittee of the Lecture Program Committee and currently addresses three local societies annually.