Documenting the Americas: Archives, Libraries and Research in
Modern Latin American and Latinx Art

Wednesday, March 29, 6 PM EDT
In-person and live-streamed via Zoom
In English
Register to join us in-person
Register to join us virtually

This panel will address the subject of the proliferation of research tools, libraries – both public and private – collections of ephemera associated with modern and contemporary art practice, and other sources of information within the fast-growing field of studies in the history of twentieth and twenty-first century art by Latin American and U.S. based Latinx artists throughout the Americas as well as in other parts of the world.

A distinguished group of researchers in this area will convene to discuss their own work and the institutions they represent. Each expert will share with the audience the widely diverging methods they employ to disseminate vast and diverse forms of knowledge, from the papers of artists, scholars, and collectors, to ephemera, traditional assemblages of books and journals and, of course, the fast-evolving new digital tools employed to understand the ever-expanding modes of information gathering and diffusion.

The panel will be moderated by Edward J. Sullivan, the Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.


Josh T Franco is head of collecting at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. In this role, he leads the team that works to identify, investigate, and acquire personal papers, institutional records and other primary sources that tell the stories of American art. In addition to ensuring the preservation of these records at the Smithsonian, Franco advises researchers working in the Archives, making them aware of materials relevant to their pursuits. Franco also oversees the Oral History team at the Archives. From 2015-2017, he was Latino collections specialist at the Archives. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Franco was an Artist-Guide at 101 Spring Street, Judd Foundation, the preserved New York home and studio of artist Donald Judd. He completed his PhD in Art History at Binghamton University in 2016. 

Ruth Halvey has held the position as the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Bibliographer for Latin America at the Museum of Modern Art Library since 2019. She received her Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from Princeton University, specializing in contemporary Mexico. She has worked as an editor and translator and has taught at Fordham University and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Ostap Kin is the Archivist at the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA).

Louisa M. Raitt is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts. Specializing in art of the Global Iberian Empire from the 16th-18th centuries, Louisa’s specific research interests pertain to artistic expressions of religio-political controversies, the fabrication and trade of export objects, and production and collection as vehicles of self-fashioning. Her dissertation, “The Frontiers of Femininity: Self-Fashioning in Female Portraiture in Viceregal New Spain, 1665-1821,” offers new insight into female religious and secular portraits and their function as vehicles of social mobility. From 2020-2021, Louisa served as the Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Fellow for Colonial Latin American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon completion of her fellowship, she was hired in the Thomas J. Watson Library as a Research Associate and Bibliographer for Latinx and Hispanic American art for a year-long collection assessment and expansion project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Lori Salmon is the Head of the Institute of Fine Arts Library at New York University, where she administers the Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts and the Conservation Center Library through the Division of Libraries.


The Duke House Exhibition Series brings contemporary art to the walls of the Institute’s landmarked James B. Duke House. (Website in Construction).


Photo Credits: María Magdalena Campos Pons, Bin Bin Lady, The Papaya, 2005. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco