International Center for the Arts of The Americas (ICAA)

In 2001, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), established the Latin American Art Department and its research arm, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA). Since its founding, the mission of the ICAA has been to collect, exhibit, research, and educate audiences about the diverse artistic production of Latin American and Latinx communities, including artists from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and artists of Latin American descent living and working in the United States. By establishing the center, the museum sought to bring about a long-term transformation in the appreciation and understanding of Latin American and Latinx visual arts in the United States and abroad. 

In the last decade, the ICAA has organized research-based exhibitions, pursued a dynamic publications program, and developed research and education projects that complement the MFAH’s renowned collection of Latin American art. The ICAA has organized international symposia, published its proceedings in bilingual format, and developed widely acclaimed exhibitions, such as Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America (2004), Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color (2006), Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time (2011), and Contesting Modernity: Informalism in Venezuela, 1955–1975 (2018–19), among others. The ICAA was initiated by the late Peter C. Marzio, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from 1982 to 2010. It is headed by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the MFAH and founding director of the ICAA. María Gaztambide served as associate director from 2009–18. Arden Decker is the current associate director of the ICAA. Héctor Olea, a founding member of the ICAA, has been the editor since the Documents Project was launched.

About The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Established in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is among the 10 largest art museums in the United States, with an encyclopedic collection of nearly 70,000 works dating from antiquity to the present. The Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim main campus comprises the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by Rafael Moneo and opened in 2000; the Caroline Wiess Law Building, originally designed by William Ward Watkin, with extensions by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe completed in 1958 and 1974; the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi and opened in 1986; the Glassell School of Art, designed by Steven Holl Architects and opened in 2018; and The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza, designed by Deborah Nevins & Associates and opened in 2018. Additional spaces include a repertory cinema, two libraries, public archives, and facilities for conservation and storage. Nearby, two house museums—Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and Rienzi—present American and European decorative arts. In fall 2020, the expansion of the Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus will reach its completion with the inauguration of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. Also designed by Steven Holl Architects, the Kinder Building is specially dedicated to installations from the important and rapidly growing MFAH collection of 20th- and 21st-century art and site-specific works by seven international artists installed across the campus. The MFAH is also home to the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), a leading research institute for 20th-century Latin American and Latino art.