San Antonio Museum of Art hires Kristopher Driggers as Associate Curator of Latin American Art

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San Antonio Museum of Art hires Kristopher Driggers as Associate Curator of Latin American Art
A native of San Antonio, Driggers brings to the Museum extensive curatorial and research experience. He will start his new role on June 17, 2024. Photo: Julius Schlosburg.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The San Antonio Museum of Art announced today Kristopher Driggers as the Museum’s new Associate Curator of Latin American Art following an international search. A native of San Antonio, Driggers brings to the Museum extensive curatorial and research experience. He will start his new role on June 17, 2024.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kristopher Driggers to the San Antonio Museum of Art as our new Associate Curator of Latin American Art,” said Emily Ballew Neff, the Kelso Director at SAMA. “With SAMA’s extraordinary collection of Latin American Art as a cornerstone, we are confident that Kristopher’s wealth of experience and passion for Latin American art will greatly enrich our institution’s offerings and engagement with our audiences and help lead us into the next exciting chapter of the Museum’s history.”

The San Antonio Museum of Art’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art has one of the most important collections of Latin American art in the United States and encompasses more than 10,000 objects. The collection has strengths in the areas of arts of the Americas before 1500; Latin American art of the viceregal period; and modern and contemporary Latin American art. It is also one of the world’s most important repositories of Latin American popular art.

“Museums across the country are working to create contemporary connections with historical artworks. At SAMA, the Latin American collection includes remarkable testaments to traditions both ancient and new, and so I am thrilled to be joining a museum that is so well-positioned for exploring contemporary resonances for Latin America’s histories,” said Driggers. “This curatorial role is especially meaningful to me because San Antonio is my hometown. Having grown up in a Mexican American family living just a few miles west of SAMA, I know that the objects stewarded by the museum tell stories relevant to so many communities of the region. I am particularly excited to work creatively and collaboratively to amplify connections between the collection and San Antonio today."

Driggers worked as Associate Curator of Latin American Art at the Tucson Museum of Art (TMA) from 2022–2024 and Assistant Curator from 2019–2022. During his tenure there, he was responsible for the first installation of the permanent collection in the museum’s new Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art (2020). He also organized several exhibitions, including CUMBI: Textiles, Society and Memory in Andean South America (2023); Popol Vuh and the Maya Art of Storytelling (2023); The Story of a Painting: José Gil de Castro’s Carlota Caspe y Rodríguez (2022); Francisco Toledo: Paper Fables (2022); Noble, Proud, Wise, Lordly: Art of the Jaguar (2021); Art of the Ancient Americas (2020); and Oaxacan Folk Art from the Collection of Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan (2019).

“I am delighted to welcome Kristopher Driggers to SAMA’s exceptional curatorial team. His scholarly expertise, curatorial experience, and profound understanding of Latin American art will play a pivotal role in shaping the future direction of the Museum’s outstanding collection of Latin American art,” said Jessica Powers, the Chief Curator at SAMA. “His insights and perspectives will undoubtedly weave compelling narratives, fostering deeper connections between our audiences and the remarkable artworks in our Latin American collection.”

In addition to his curatorial work, Driggers has been actively involved in academia, serving as a lecturer at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Chicago. He has delivered lectures and conference presentations at venues including the Denver Art Museum, Getty Research Institute, American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, the Frick Collection, the Newberry Library, and the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, among others.

Driggers received his PhD in Art History at the University of Chicago in 2020. His dissertation, The History of Idolatry and the Codex Durán Paintings, received the Feitler Prize for Best Dissertation from the University of Chicago. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Chicago in 2014 and obtained his bachelor’s degree in history of art from Yale University in 2011. Driggers is fluent in Spanish, Yucatec Mayan, and Portuguese.

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