A curator’s mission: Keep art exhibits at East Harlem’s El Museo del Barrio informative and interest

Repeating Islands

El Museo del Barrio curator Rocio Aranda-Alvarado strives to put on exhibits that are historic as well as contemporary—Clem Richardson reports for New York’s Daily News

Here’s how Rocío Aranda-Alvarado describes her mission as curator at East Harlem’s El Museo del Barrio.

“It requires a lot of intellectual curiosity, and you have to care about how you’re conveying your message to the public,” she said. “You want them to come away with a complete story about something they might not have known about or cared about before.

“You have to make them interested, make them want to learn more and acknowledge the importance of whatever it is they just saw.”

El Museo del Barrio’s massive and varied collection is almost tailor made to that end, she said.

“The museum’s mission comes from the collection, which has pre-Colombian objects in it, Colonial objects in it, modern and contemporary objects as well…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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