National Gallery of Art
Natalia Angeles Vieyra will serve as the Gallery's first associate curator of Latino art. The role is part of a larger initiative to promote the genre. Wikimedia Commons

Natalia Angeles Vieyra is set to join The National Gallery of Art to become the first curator of Latin art. She will begin her position on June 30.

The National Gallery of Art is one of the primary centers of visual art, education and culture in the U.S. Located in Washington D.C., the gallery has more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, photographs and more. Now, as Vieyra joins the institution, she will seek it to become an epicenter for Latin art.

The creation of this role is part of the larger Advancing Latinx Art in Museums initiatives, launched in Feb. 2023 by the Ford, Getty, Mellon and Terra foundations. The aim with this initiative is to pool $5 million to fund the creation of ten Latinx art-focused curatorial positions over a five-year span.

In this role, Vieyra will be tasked with researching, expanding and exhibiting the NGA's collection of modern and contemporary Latinx art.

Vieyra is a curator and an art historian, her expertise relying on Puerto Rican art. In fact, her dissertation focused on Puerto Rican artist Francisco Oller within the larger context of the Americas.

"I am incredibly honored to join the National Gallery of Art at this pivotal moment in its history," Vieyra said. "I am excited to connect with and inspire Latinx communities through art, and to champion Latinx artists on the national stage."

The curator has worked as an associate of American art at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, where she spearheaded the acquisition of many works by Latin and Latin American artists.

Before that, she served as the Maher Curatorial Fellow of American Art at the Harvard Art Museums. Vieyra developed curatorial and educational programs that brought the work of important artists closer to Latin audiences, according to Remezcla, a website dedicated to Latino art, entertainment and pop culture.

The National Gallery is not the first institution to create a role of this nature. In fact, the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin initiated a similar role last year, appointing Claudia Zapata as its inaugural associate curator of Latino art.

"This is an exciting moment for the National Gallery of Art, as we inaugurate a new position that will increase visibility and scholarship of Latinx and help us better serve our national community," said Evelyn Ramos, "as a scholar of Latinx art myself, I look forward to supporting Natalia as she helps expand our collections and develops projects that illuminate the ideas and practices of Latinx artists and what they say about art and our world today."

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