A photograph of Carmen Ramos by Ross Whitaker

E. Carmen Ramos

Former Curator of Latinx Art

E. Carmen Ramos was the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s curator of Latinx art from 2010-2021. She dramatically expanded the museum’s extensive collection of Latinx art with an eye toward capturing the broad aesthetic and regional range of the field. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Latinx, Latin American and African American art. She organized ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now (2020), Tamayo: The New York Years (2017) and Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art (2013).

Exhibitions

  • ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now

    In the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. ¡Printing the Revolution! explores the rise of Chicano graphics within these early social movements and the ways in which Chicanx artists since then have advanced innovative printmaking practices attuned to social justice.
  • Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography

    May 11, 2017 — August 5, 2017
    Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW)
    America’s urban streets have long inspired documentary photographers. After World War II, populations shifted from the city to the suburbs and newly built highways cut through thriving neighborhoods, leaving isolated pockets within major urban centers. As neighborhoods started to decline in the 1950s, the photographers in this exhibition found ways to call attention to changing cities and their residents. Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography explores the work of ten photographers—Manuel Acevedo, Oscar Castillo, Frank Espada, Anthony Hernandez, Perla de Leon, Hiram Maristany, Ruben Ochoa, John Valadez, Winston Vargas, and Camilo José Vergara—who were driven to document and reflect on the state of American cities during these transformative years.
  • Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art

    Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s pioneering collection of Latino art. It explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and recalibrated key themes in American art and culture.

Books

  • ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now

    Publisher
    Publisher: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, in association with Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford
    Beginning in the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements, and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. The exhibition ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now presents, for the first time, historical civil rights-era prints by Chicano artists alongside works by graphic artists working from the 1980s to today.
  • Tamayo: The New York Years

    Tamayo: The New York Years explores the influences between Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991), a major Mexican modernist best known for his boldly colored, semiabstract paintings, and the American art world. It reveals how he forged a new path in the modern art of the Americas and contributed to New York’s dynamic cultural scene as the city was becoming a center of postwar art. 
  • Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art

    Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and recalibrated key themes in American art and culture. This beautifully illustrated volume presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. Our America includes works by artists who participated in all the various artistic styles and movements, including abstract expressionism; activist, conceptual, and performance art; and classic American genres such as landscape, portraiture, and scenes of everyday life. 

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