MFA appoints first curator of Native American art

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Marina Tyquiengco, an academic specializing in Native American and Australian Aboriginal art, has been appointed to the new post, officially known as Ellyn McColgan Assistant Curator of Native American Art.

In her new role, Tyquiengco, who is currently a curatorial assistant in the museum’s contemporary art department, will work on the interpretation and exhibition of the MFA’s Native American collection, which dates from the founded in 1870 and includes more than 800 objects, including ancient ceramics from Mississippian mound builders to a collection of 20th century Inuit prints and sculptures. She will also work to build relationships with Indigenous communities as part of the museum’s ongoing efforts to become more accessible and welcoming to historically marginalized groups.

“I am delighted to be expanding the work of my fabulous colleagues in showcasing Indigenous art, voices and stories,” Tyquiengco said in a statement to The Globe. “As a CHAmoru (indigenous people of Guam) woman, I look forward to forging deeper relationships with local indigenous communities and fostering greater representation of indigenous arts from this region in the museum.”

At MFA, Tyquiengco recently helped organize “New Light: Encounters and Connections” and “A Garden for Boston,” both of which are currently playing.

Ethan Lasser, president of the Art of the Americas, said the new curatorial post “reflects our commitment to center Native American art in a larger and more comprehensive presentation of the Americas.”

“Marina is the perfect candidate for this inaugural role,” he said in a statement to The Globe. “Through her work at the MFA and the academy, Marina has distinguished herself as an innovative curator, thinker and teacher committed to making room for diverse Indigenous voices, connecting with the community and raising new questions about our collections and their significance today. ”

Tyquiengco recently received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. She will take up her new role at the museum in September.


Malcolm Gay can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @malcolmgay.



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