Hunter College Names Harper Montgomery the Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Professor in Latin American Art

March 30, 2011 | Hunter College

Hunter College has named Harper Montgomery, one of the nation’s leading experts in Latin American art, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor in Latin American Art. Dr. Montgomery will join Hunter in the fall of 2011.

The appointment is part of a newly formed partnership between Hunter and the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) that is expected to have a transformative impact on Latin American art scholarship at Hunter. The partnership gives Hunter full access to artworks from the collection, archival materials and curatorial research that will enable the college to create new courses in Latin American and Caribbean art for both undergraduate and graduate students. These resources will also be made available to the Hunter College Art Galleries for study, exhibition, and publication.

Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab said: “After an extensive international talent search, we are fortunate to have Dr. Montgomery join our faculty as the leader of this exciting new program. We are confident it will revolutionize the teaching of Latin American Art and dramatically increase international awareness and understanding of its scope and power.”

“We are thrilled to hear that Hunter College has recently appointed Harper Montgomery as the first Cisneros Professor for Latin American Art,” said Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, co-founder of the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. “Dr. Montgomery’s appointment comes at a moment when the breadth and depth of Latin America’s contribution to the visual arts is becoming more fully appreciated, and we look forward with great anticipation to her plans for teaching and promoting this rich field with her distinguished peers at Hunter College.”

Montgomery is the winner of numerous fellowships and awards in her field and has published and lectured widely on the art of Latin America. As the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor, she will develop and teach undergraduate and graduate art history courses, and will integrate the materials she develops into Hunter’s academic life across a wide range of disciplines and departments. Montgomery will also oversee two exhibitions in Hunter galleries drawing from the artworks of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. The exhibitions will give students first-hand curatorial experience – a career asset for future art historians – and develop public programs with visiting Latin American artists.

“The opportunity to integrate Latin American art and culture into the general curricula at Hunter is thrilling,” said Montgomery. “I am honored to join one of New York’s premier public colleges to lead this initiative that reflects my personal and professional commitment and expertise. I look forward to mentoring students who pursue research in Latin American art and will actively encourage them to take advantage of the remarkable resources of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and New York City.”

Montgomery is currently teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design and has previously taught at the University of Chicago. She was the North American Curator of the Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan in Puerto Rico and Assistant Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.  She has lectured extensively in the United States and Mexico, authored articles in a variety of art journals and exhibition catalogues and served as a juror for numerous organizations in New York.

Montgomery earned a BA in Art History at Mount Holyoke, an MA in Art History at Columbia University and a PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Mount Holyoke College.

The Hunter College/Cisneros partnership is the latest in a series of partnerships that the Fundación Cisneros and the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros have formed to enhance appreciation of the diversity, sophistication, and range of art from Latin America. Other partners have included Harvard University, The University of Texas at Austin, Wheaton College, New York University and The Bard Center for Curatorial Studies and The Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design, History, Material Culture.