WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian American Art Museum
has appointed E. Carmen Ramos as its curator for Latino art. Ramos will be responsible for acquiring artworks for the museums permanent collection and producing a major exhibition and catalog based on the museums Latino holdings for fall 2013. She begins work on Oct. 12.
I am thrilled that E. Carmen Ramos is bringing her expertise and insights here to help us feature Latino artists who transform personal experiences and cultural heritage into vivid artworks, said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. These stories are culturally specific, but also American and universal.
Ramos is an independent curator whose most recent projects were BLACKOUT: A Centennial Commission by Paul Henry Ramirez (2010), a site-specific exhibition at The Newark Museum and Cut, Build and Weld: Process in Works by Chakaia Booker (2010) at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit. Previously, she was the curator of exhibitions for the Arts Council of Princeton at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts and assistant curator for cultural engagement at The Newark Museum. She co-curated the fifth biennial at El Museo del Barrio in New York City in 2007 and also has organized exhibitions about Mexican popular arts (2007) and works by artists Franco Mondini-Ruiz (2007) and Freddy Rodríguez (2005).
Born and raised in New York City, Ramos earned a bachelors degree in art history and psychology from New York University (1988) and a masters degree in art history from the University of Chicago (1995). She currently is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago with a focus on modern art in Latin America. Her dissertation is titled A Painter of Cuban Life: Victor Patricio de Landaluze and 19th-Century Cuban Politics.
Nearly 100 of the more than 500 works by Latino artists in the museums pioneering collectioncollected during the past thirty yearsare currently on display. From 2000-2002, the museum toured 66 rarely lent paintings, sculptures and photographs in Arte Latino: Treasure from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which traveled to seven cities across the United States. The artworks included in the exhibition ranged from 18th-century colonial Puerto Rico works by José Campeche and The Caban Group to contemporary works by Carlos Alfonzo, Carmen Lomas Garza, Luis Jiménez, Ana Mendieta, Amalia Mesa-Bains and Pepón Osorio.