Press Release

TMA Names Kristopher Driggers Assistant Curator, Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art

January 31, 2019

TUCSON, ARIZONA – The Tucson Museum of Art (TMA) announces the appointment of Kristopher Driggers as TMA’s Assistant Curator, Bernard and Jeanette Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art. Currently a lecturer at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the nation’s second-largest Hispanic-serving Institution, Driggers will finish his semester of teaching and join TMA full time in early May to manage and develop TMA’s Latin American, Spanish Colonial, and Latin American folk art collections, with emphasis on Pre-Columbian art. Until then, he will be making visits to Tucson for collection research in preparation for the installation of the collection at TMA’s forthcoming Kasser Family Wing.

Driggers, who obtained his bachelor’s degree in History of Art from Yale University in 2011 and his master’s degree in Art History from the University of Chicago in 2014, expects to obtain his Ph.D. in Art History, Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American Art from the University of Chicago in May. He participated in the Center for Curatorial Leadership Mellon Seminar in Curatorial Practice in New York in 2017.

According to TMA CEO Jeremy Mikolajczak, “Kristopher’s range of study, international research and experience will provide the vision and practical skills to present, interpret and build TMA’s pre-Columbian collection, install the Kasser Family Wing, and produce insightful publications, public lectures, and symposia.”

While at Yale, Driggers held multiple fellowships, including the Josef Albers Traveling Fellowship which allowed him to travel and study pre-Columbian objects in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru. He has worked as a development coordinator at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas; a curatorial employee in African Art at the Yale University Art Gallery; and an intern in the curatorial departments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.

Before beginning his teaching position in Texas last year, Driggers conducted fieldwork for three years in Mexico City and surrounding regions, as well as in Madrid and other European collections. His research has been supported by a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, among other awards.

Driggers has written about his research for publication and has regularly presented his research at scholarly conferences. In 2017-18, he spoke at the Frick Collection in New York, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and in conferences in Mexico and Colombia, where he lectured in Spanish. He is organizing a panel on pre-Columbian art for the 2019 College Art Association conference on the topic of “Indigenous Languages of the Americas and the Language of Art History.”

Driggers’ knowledge and commitment to the highest standards of scholarship and interest in engaging diverse communities will advance TMA’s reputation as a leader in Latin American art and its service to our distinctive art and multicultural communities.

For general media inquiries, contact Cami Cotton, Executive Assistant to the CEO, at ccotton@tucsonmuseumofart.org or 520-616-2687