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Worcester Art Museum welcomes new Associate Curator of American Art Natalia Angeles Vieyra
Natalia Angeles Vieyra Photo: Libby Weiler.

WORCESTER, MASS.- The Worcester Art Museum announced today that it has appointed Natalia ┴ngeles Vieyra to the position of Associate Curator of American Art. Since 2019, Vieyra has been the Maher Curatorial Fellow of American Art at Harvard Art Museums, where she supported the exhibition, conservation, and interpretation of the collections within the Division of European and American Art. She previously held curatorial roles and fellowships at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands. Bringing a broad expertise in the arts and material culture of the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean from the colonial period to the present, Vieyra will begin her new post in August 2022.

As Associate Curator, Vieyra will plan and collaborate on exhibitions and public programs drawing on the Museum’s outstanding collection of American art, while advancing WAM’s commitment to present new perspectives and interpretations of this material. She will also conduct additional research on these collections, bringing her cross-border expertise to bear on the interpretation and presentation of these works, and working in collaboration with the Conservation department to steward the collection. Vieyra will also take a leading role in seeking out, researching, and recommending new acquisitions, working with WAM’s head of curatorial affairs, Claire Whitner, to infuse greater diversity into the Museum’s collection of American art.

“I am very excited to welcome Dr. Vieyra to our curatorial team. Her broad expertise and transnational approach to the study of American art will undoubtedly bring a new perspective to our collection,” said Claire C. Whitner, Director of Curatorial Affairs and the James A. Welu Curator of European Art. “The work she has done at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Harvard Art Museums demonstrates her capability to take on topical subjects and draw connections between historical collections and issues of contemporary interest.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the curatorial team at the Worcester Art Museum at this exciting moment of institutional reimagining and experimentation. During my graduate studies, its storied collections were central to my scholarship and curatorial development. In my new role as Associate Curator of American Art, the unrivaled collections at WAM will offer infinite opportunities to explore new narratives in the arts of the Americas, and to connect with and inspire local communities through art.”

Vieyra graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from University of the Arts, Philadelphia and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in Art History from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University. Her dissertation focused on Impressionism and the works of Caribbean-born artists Francisco Oller and Camille Pissarro. In 2016, while still working on her doctorate, Vieyra joined the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia where she supported the development of Creando Historia/Making History in the Americas. This project examined nineteenth-century academic painting across the Americas, requiring collaboration with a global network of scholars, curators, and collectors in United States, Mexico, and Brazil. Following Creando Historia, Vieyra continued to work with PAFA’s extensive collection of American art, serving on the exhibition team for Graphic Women (2017–18), an exploration of the professionalization of American women artists in graphic media, and co-curating Infinite Spaces: Rediscovering PAFA’s Permanent Collection, a cross temporal exhibition of PAFA’s new acquisitions and permanent collection.

In 2019, Vieyra became the Harvard Art Museum’s Maher Curatorial Fellow of American Art where she has worked to incorporate Latin American and Caribbean narratives into the galleries of European and American art. In her role as curatorial fellow, she served on the exhibition team for Prints from the Brandywine Workshop and Archives: Creative Communities (2022) and is currently co-curating From the Andes to the Caribbean: Spanish Colonial Paintings from the Thoma Foundation (2023). Additionally, she contributed to a museum-wide reinterpretation of the permanent collections, entitled ReFrame. This initiative seeks to reimagine the function, role, and future of the art museum by shining a light on difficult histories, investigating untold narratives, and experimenting with different approaches to storytelling.

In addition to her work on exhibition research and development, Vieyra has published widely and presented at numerous conferences, addressing a range of topics from the Parisian print world at the turn of the 20th-century to portraits by free artists of color in 19th-century New Orleans. Her published writing has been featured in Print Quarterly, Panorama: The Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, and Nineteenth Century. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Isla de Arte: Puerto Rican Painting, Pedagogy, and Patriotism in the ‘American Century.’

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