Press release

Patricia Marroquin Norby Named Associate Curator of Native American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

(New York, September 8, 2020)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today the appointment of Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha) as the Museum’s inaugural Associate Curator of Native American Art. On September 14, she will join the staff of the American Wing where historical Native American art is now displayed, under the direction of Sylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge. Dr. Norby previously served as Senior Executive and Assistant Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian-New York, and as Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at The Newberry, in Chicago.

In making the announcement, Max Hollein, Director of The Met, said: “I am excited to welcome Patricia Marroquin Norby to The Met after a long and competitive search for our first-ever full-time curator in Native American Art, a position made especially relevant by the landmark 2017 gift of historical Native arts from Met trustee, Charles Diker, and his wife, Valerie. Dr. Norby, an award-winning scholar of Native American art history and visual culture, is also an experienced museum professional, and we look forward to supporting her scholarship and programmatic collaborations with colleagues across The Met as well as with Indigenous communities throughout the region and continent for our diverse international audiences.”

Dr. Yount added: “We are thrilled to have Patricia join us in the American Wing, where we’ve been exploring entangled narratives of cross-cultural encounter and exchange between Native and non-Native individuals and communities, especially since the Fall 2018 debut of Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection. That ongoing installation of outright and promised gifts of historical Indigenous American works—from the Dikers and others—laid the groundwork for the Museum’s new Native arts program, which Patricia will shape and lead at this transformational moment.”

“I am delighted with this opportunity to return to my fine-art roots,” says Dr. Norby. “Historical and contemporary Native American art embodies and confronts the environmental, religious, and economic disruptions that Indigenous communities have so powerfully negotiated—and still negotiate—through a balance of beauty, tradition, and innovation. I am deeply honored to join with American Indian and Indigenous artists and communities in advancing our diverse experiences and voices in The Met’s exhibitions, collections, and programs. This is a time of significant evolution for the Museum. Max Hollein, Daniel Weiss, and Sylvia Yount are strongly committed to supporting meaningful systematic change. I look forward to being part of this critical shift in the presentation of Native American art.”

Patricia Marroquin Norby holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with a specialization in Native American art history and visual culture, as well as a MFA in printmaking and photography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her latest publication, Water, Bones, and Bombs—examining twentieth-century Southwest art production and environmental conflicts among Native, Hispano, and White communities in the northern Rio Grande Valley—is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press. Dr. Norby also brings extensive teaching experience to The Met, including a position as Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she taught historical and contemporary Native American art history and culture at graduate and undergraduate levels.

In this new curatorial role at The Met, Dr. Norby will work directly with Sylvia Yount and other colleagues on collection development and exhibition programming that places Native arts in focus and in dialogue with culturally diverse production. She will also oversee the formation of long-term partnerships and reciprocity with Indigenous American communities, scholars, artists, and audiences in the region and across the continent.


September 8, 2020

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