Photo courtesy of the Museum of Latin American Art by John Betancourt.
Following an international search, Lourdes I. Ramos has been chosen as the new president and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Robert Braun and Mike Deovlet, co-chairmen of MOLAA’s Board of Directors, announced Wednesday.
Joining the museum after its 20th anniversary last year, growing admissions and recent accolades, Ramos will bring her international perspective to MOLAA, having led partnerships with major international institutions during her more than 20-year career in the museum field. The executive search process, led by Arts Consulting Process, ends with a visionary at the helm.
The museum’s former president and CEO, Stuart Ashman, left MOLAA in July of last year to return to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico as the executive director at the Center for the Contemporary Arts. The Long Beach institution has been without a president since he left.
“We are so excited to see someone of Dr. Ramos’ caliber take the reins at MOLAA,” Braun said in a statement. “She is strategic, forward-thinking and has an excellent track record of museum leadership. Her ability to organize projects on a global scale and attract new audiences and support through innovative, collection-based programs will enable MOLAA to strengthen its artistic direction and create a solid infrastructure for its continued growth.”
Ramos will be the first Latina to hold this position, according to the Los Angeles Times.
For the past 12 years Ramos has been the executive director and chief curator at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR) in San Juan, one of the largest and most prominent Latin American cultural institutions, according to the announcement.
During her time at MAPR, Ramos led the museum through a strategic planning process which developed new audiences, increased its collection of relevant artwork, implemented new technologies and ensured financial stability for the institution. She expanded its collection by obtaining more than 400 strategic donations and acquisitions, including major artworks from Latin American artists.
MAPR also received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) under her leadership. Ramos will begin her tenure at MOLAA on May 1.
“When we refer to the most exalted institutions of Latin and Latin American art, MOLAA is a mandatory reference,” Ramos said in a statement. “As a professional, to be able to contribute to and expand upon the artistic legacy and the vision of MOLAA, in a framework of strategic development, is a great responsibility. Nevertheless, it is a shared responsibility with all those visionaries who see the arts as the pinnacle of human expression and a unifying force that celebrates diversity and inclusion without regard to borders.”
Dr. Ramos completed her Ph.D. in Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona, Spain, with a concentration in Arts Administration, received her M.A. in Fine Arts from Illinois State University and her B.A. in Fine Arts from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Ramos also participated in the Museum Leadership Program hosted by the Getty Leadership Institute and is a certified fine art appraiser (USPAP), according to the announcement.