The Blanton Museum appoints new Latin American Art curator
Posted on Oct - 09 - 2019
The overall diffusion of Latin American art in the United States has been met with some hesitance, both from the public as well as organizations and institutions. The trajectory for acceptance has been slow, but steady, and nowadays, Latin American artworks and artists are seen in major museums across the country. It has been no small task and it’s been the feat of visionary people, each struggling forward, standing on the shoulder of giants to make a place for Latin American artists.
One such institution to play a pivotal role in this process has been the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, founded in 1963. This pioneering institution began its Latin American art collection more than 50 years ago, amassing over 2000 pieces by 600 artists. It even was the first museum to establish a curatorship of Latin American art, naming now-iconic powerhouse Mari Carmen Ramirez as the first person to hold this post in the country. In the 2000’s Ramirez highlighted works of the South America avant-garde to a less familiar audience, presenting Southern artists like Gego, Hélio Oiticica, and Lygia Clark. Following, Ramirez would move to the International Center for the Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. However, this has become an iconic post, and the unraveling of her tenure lives on, while and a new generation of curators takes center stage.
Recently, the museum has added a new member to its ranks, appointing Vanessa Davidson as its new curator of Latin American art. The post had been taken up before by Beverly Adams, who was recently appointed Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, who will be working closely with Inés Katzenstein to shape the collection and future exhibitions.
Miss Davidson comes from the Phoenix Art Museum, where she worked as the curator of Latin American art for over eight years, bringing a broad view of Latin American art histories. As stated by Simone Wicha, the museum’s director, Miss Davidson “will continue to explore unexamined narratives, creating dialogues between past and present, and shape the global conversation around art from Latin America.”
By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz
courtesy: Celil Refik Kaya