Since his first weeks at the Museum in 2007, Dennis Carr, Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, has been a familiar face at the MFA. Born and raised in Florida, Dennis completed his graduate work at Yale before joining the Art of the Americas department during the planning of the new Art of the Americas Wing. Dennis describes his own scholarly background as “unusual”—before conducting in-depth research at Yale into pre-Columbian and colonial Latin American art, he was a student of traditional American decorative arts and painting at the Winterthur Program in Delaware. Coming to the MFA excited the scholar because, as Dennis says, “the possibility of working on both American and Latin American art, especially on the scale being proposed by the Art of the Americas Wing, was appealing and exciting.”

Just a week after the new wing opened in 2010, Dennis convened scholars from places as far afield as Mexico and Brazil to begin orchestrating an exhibition that would “draw from the Art of the Americas Wing in a focused way while shedding light on globalization in the Americas during the colonial period.” This exhibition eventually became “Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia,” which opened to rave reviews at the MFA this August. “Made in the Americas” is just a first step towards a larger goal. As Dennis says, “I would like to see the MFA become much more engaged in the Americas, not only through exhibitions but also through partnerships and exchanges. To become not just a collecting institution but one involved deeply with the cultures of the Americas.” Part of this goal is the expansion of the MFA’s travel program to Latin America where Patron members can encounter these cultures firsthand. Dennis has led MFA Patrons to Cuba, and is planning an in-depth tour to Brazil for October of 2016. These trips have led “not only to acquisitions for the MFA, but to a new awareness and focus on Latin American art.” If you haven’t seen “Made in the Americas,” take it in before the show closes this February, and be on the lookout for more from Dennis Carr. “The MFA has provided a unique platform to do an exhibition like this,” says Dennis. “It’s exhilarating.”