Anne Chesnut was born in 1954 in Washington DC. She attended Diskinson College, graduating cum laude in Fine Arts and Art History. In 1981 she attended the Yale University School of Art where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree.
In 1981 she was awarded the Ford Foundation Grant from Yale University and in 1988 she won the Anonymous Prize for Still Life Painting from the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York. Also in 1988, she won Third Prize in the “Juried Fine Art Exhibition ‘88” at the Mari Galleries in Mamoroneck, New York.