Institute for Advanced Study Presents

Eduardo Díaz: “First Voice Representation in Museum Practice”

IAS Thursdays
May 2019
About the Event

Latinos shaped this country and its culture even before there was a United States. Historically, however, museums have overlooked the Latino experience despite the fact that Latino history is American history, Latino art is part of the American canon, and Latino research scientists' contributions are American achievements. What responsibilities do museums have to tell more complete stories? Who should tell them? What changes in institutional culture will ensure programmatic authenticity, accuracy and organizational diversity? And what role do museum studies and related programs have in preparing future professionals? In 2010 the Smithsonian Institution established the Latino Curatorial Initiative enabling its museums, archives and traveling exhibition service to hire Latina and Latino content experts to drive research, organize exhibitions, build collections, inform educational programs and digital content, and publish about the Latino experience. The impacts have been major and multiple. If museums are to accurately recover the past, honestly engage with the present, and creatively imagine the future, they will need diverse, first voice practitioners to lead the way in empowering museums to better serve diverse and deserving communities.