Met Hires Patricia Marroquin Norby: First Full-Time Native American Art Curator

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has hired a full-time Native American curator: Patricia Marroquin Norby. Beginning Monday, she will become associate curator of Native American art on Monday, September 14.

Dr. Norby  is of Purépecha heritage, an Indigenous population that primarily lives in Michoacán, Mexico. She has served as senior executive and assistant director of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York.

The Met’s director, Max Hollein, stated of Dr. Norby: “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.”

“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,” Norby said in a statement. “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.” She hopes to enact "meaningful systematic change."

Before coming to the National Museum of the American Indian, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Norby was the director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry, a research library in Chicago. She also worked as an assistant professor of American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in American studies, with a specialization in Native American art history and visual culture.

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