Working at the Art Museum of the Americas

During my time working at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington DC, I assisted with multiple responsibilities on two exhibitions as well as other OAS meetings.

The AMA | Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States (OAS) is one of the world’s leading collection of modern and contemporary art from the Western Hemisphere.  It is OAS’s principal cultural diplomacy tool for promoting “more rights for more people”.  

Mission: AMA | Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States, exhibits, collects, studies and conserves modern and contemporary art of the Americas, in order to promote cultural exchange to advance the OAS four pillars of democracy, human rights, multidimensional security, and integral development.   

The AMA has two exhibition spaces: the actual museum as well as the F Street Gallery located in one of the main OAS buildings. Art programming usually consists of exhibitions activated in both spaces with additional events programming around each exhibition’s narrative.

FUSION: Tracing Asian Migration to the Americas through AMA’s Collection

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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION (from AMA):
Through AMA’s permanent collection, one of the most vital sources of modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art in the United States, this exhibition examines and generates a dialogue about cultural diversity. This is accomplished by exploring the migration of artists or their families to the Americas from Asia during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.  By addressing the multiple layers of cultural exchange, this exhibition aims to enhance understanding of the complex nature of modern Latin American and Caribbean societies. Tied to OAS values, and a selection of its observer countries, this exhibition promotes the cultural diversity of and migration to the Americas and initiates an exchange of contributions that this multiculturalism has generated.

As Latin American studies scholars Mario Margulis and Birgitta Leander point out, in Latin America and the Caribbean “the fusion of different ethnicities is extremely important and gives rise to new cultural phenomena... such as in language, arts, ideas, values, and beliefs.”

Providing a deeper understanding of the works within AMA’s collection, the exhibition will illustrate the convergence of the multiple cultural elements that make up the artist’s identity and what impact – or lack thereof – these elements have on his or her works. 

The exhibition will discuss migration of Asian peoples, including Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian immigrants. Labor shortages of the mid-1800s through the 1930s drew workers from Asia. The exhibition will show how these various groups arrived to the Americas, integrated into local societies, and impacted the visual arts in their new countries: Brazil, Peru, Cuba, Suriname, Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Artists include Japanese-Brazilian Tomie Ohtake who uses gestural strokes that echo calligraphic styles, Cuba’s Wifredo Lam who is of Chinese ancestry, and Suriname’s Seoki Irodikromo who clearly portrays his Indonesian heritage in his works.

AMA’s collection reflects the multi-layered cultural composition of Latin American and Caribbean societies. By engaging with the wide cultural spectrum represented by these artworks, viewers will gain a richer understanding of modern art and culture of the Americas.

The Burning of Visibility: From Reality to Dream Photos by French Photographer Anne-Lise Large

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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION (FROM AMA):

AMA | Art Museum of the Americas is proud to present three photographic series by renowned French photographer Anne-Lise Large; Lost AngelsMythology, and Margins shot between the years 2009 and 2012. Large has resided in the United States for the past four years, providing for a unique perspective in her photographs, an outsider’s view into the depths of what constitutes “American Culture”, — ever evolving and reshaping itself — and its variety of people as seen by a modern day observer.

From New York to Los Angeles, San Francisco to Las Vegas, New Orleans to Washington, DC, The Burning of Visibility ventures beyond city to city ideals, breaking down and transforming what we see in our day to day truth and blending the line between what we dream and our realities. Viewers can expect to be transported to a place without a set standard reality.

The images displayed throughout the exhibition will portray individuals moving toward their own definition of progress. The subjects may be poor, disenfranchised or wonderers, but they live in a progressive land thatfails to define what this dream means to the whole, leaving each individual to make that definition for themselves, further diffusing what is meant by “American Culture”.

Lost Angels is the foundation of the exhibition, consisting of Ms. Large’s first photographs taken in the United States when she arrived four years ago. Her photographs expose the underbelly of our nation of dreamers, those struggling to obtain the promise that we all hope to achieve. Mythology attempts to portray the metamorphous of individuals as they transform into their character while Margins grounds us in a kind of time-space continuum reminding us of the influence of our surroundings.

Large understands the art of both the eye and the written word. She often pairs the two together in her work, explaining “photography shows what cannot be said and writing says what cannot be seen.” Photography remains the principle commitment of the artist — her photographs explore the boundaries of the medium. Comprised of mostly portraits, Large is gifted in capturing close and intimate encounters of strange and unsettling characters.


“All of these people — they are captured, but they are living,” explains Large. Through the exhibition, Large seeks to provide an in-depth and personal view into our collective perception of what it means to hope, dream and have aspirations in America.

The Artist

Born in 1982 in France, Anne-Lise Large is an internationally recognized photographer and professor of philosophy. She received a Doctorate in Philosophy and a Diploma from The Cinema and Photographic Department from the University of Strasbourg and Paris, France. In 2005, Anne-Lise Large created her first exhibition of photography, titled Ph(il/ot)o-graphie. Connecting photography with philosophy, the exhibit included photography paired with selected original writings of modern-day philosophers, creating a visual forum between photography, writing and philosophy, allowing for creative interpretation from all areas of thought.

To date, Anne-Lise has been selected for exhibition at national and international venues including the NKA gallery (Belgium), the French Institute of Dresden (Germany), the Gallery of François Miron during the “Month of Photography” in Paris, the Festival of Photojournalism of Angers (France) for her work on women in the city of Jerusalem titled, “On the other side”. In addition, Anne-Lise’s work was selected for exhibition at the Museum Of Photography André Villers (France) which included a published catalog prefaced by Hélène Cixous the famed French feminist writer. In 2012, Anne-Lise’s work was selected for exhibition at FotoWeek DC, one of the largest photography focused festivals in the United States.

Anne-Lise Large has traveled extensively throughout the United States in order to create her series Lost Angels and Mythology. She is a member of Gamma-Rapho Agency and currently resides in Washington DC where she is a Professor of Philosophy and Photography at the French International School. Anne-Lise has participated in conferences and workshops around the world to discuss the correlation between photography and philosophy.

For more information on Anne-Lise Large’s work, visit: www.anne-liselarge.com.