It marks the first time a full-time Native American curator has worked for the museum.
Most people have heard of the Metropolitan Museum of Art but they may not be aware that it got its start back in 1866. A group of Americans in Paris decided they would create such a museum to bring art to the States and to educate people in America about art.
Over 150 years have passed, and now the museum is the largest art museum in America. They just got even more diversified, after hiring Dr. Patricia Marroquin Norby as the inaugural associate curator of Native American art at the Met. It marks the first time a full-time Native American curator has worked for the museum.
Prior to stepping into this position, Norby was the senior executive and assistant director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian-New York.
In addition, she was the director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies located in Chicago. She attended the University of Minnesota-Twins Cities, where she received her PhD in American studies.
News of the appointment was shared by Native-Land.ca on their Twitter account. They said:
“Meet Dr. Patricia Marroquin Norby,” the organization posted. “The Metropolitan Museum of Art first Indigenous art curator! We are most excited to see how her influence shapes the story of Indigenous art moving forward.”
Meet Dr. Patricia Marroquin Norby: The Metropolitan Museum of Art first Indigenous art curator! We are most excited to see how her influence shapes the story of Indigenous art moving forward. @metmuseum https://t.co/s0gwoC5apU pic.twitter.com/y1aBj6fSWL
— Native Land Digital Map (@nativelandnet) September 15, 2020
“I am delighted with this opportunity to return to my fine-art roots,” Norby said in a statement issued by the museum. “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.”
She feels that it is a big step forward for the museum and says the management is looking forward to a meaningful change. She is thankful to be associated with the presentation of Native American art at the Met.
As her role as the curator, she will work to develop Native American artwork, both building up exhibits and collections. She will also manage and help to develop new partnerships with Indigenous American communities.