MFA Boston Appoints Marina Tyquiengco as Inaugural Ellyn McColgan Assistant Curator of Native American Art

BOSTON (August 19, 2021)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has appointed Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru) as the inaugural Ellyn McColgan Assistant Curator of Native American Art. In this new position within the Art of the Americas Department, Tyquiengco will help shape the MFA’s commitment to Native American art and culture; build, display and interpret the collection through innovative exhibitions and installations; and work with colleagues across the Museum to build partnerships with Indigenous communities. Tyquiengco currently serves as Curatorial Assistant in the MFA’s Department of Contemporary Art and will transition into her new role in September.

Tyquiengco is a scholar of global Indigenous art with an emphasis on Native American art and Aboriginal Australian art. At the MFA, she has been a member of the curatorial teams responsible for organizing the current exhibitions New Light: Encounters and Connections, which brings into dialogue more than 60 works from across the MFA’s collection, and Garden for Boston, a project led by artists and activists Ekua Holmes (African American, born 1955) and Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag, born 1973). Tyquiengco received her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, where her dissertation focused on contemporary Indigenous artists. She has taught at Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh and worked at the Fralin Art Museum and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, both at the University of Virginia, where she received her bachelor’s degree.

The MFA’s collection of Native American art traces its origins to the 1870s, when the Museum opened to the public. Navajo weavings, Zuni Pueblo pottery and Plains beadwork were all part of the MFA's foundational collection. Today, the growing collection of more than 800 works represents a broad diversity of Indigenous cultural traditions across the landscapes now known as the U.S. and Canada, from the historical to the contemporary. Among its treasures are some of the oldest pieces in the Americas: ceramics made by the ancient Mississippian Mound Builders. Ledger drawings by Silver Horn (Haungooah) represent an important highlight of the 19th-century holdings, which also include a range of objects made for trade with European settlers, such as Mi’kmaq quillwork, Pueblo pottery and weaving and Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) carvings. The Museum recently received major gift of 20th-century Inuit prints and sculptures, and acquired works by living artists including Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow, born 1981), D.Y. Begay (Diné [Navajo], born 1953), and Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, born in 1940). In 2018, the MFA received a major gift of the Estate of David Rockefeller from the Collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller—52 artworks that include watercolors, textiles, beadwork and pottery, representing artists from 13 Native American tribes and nations.

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Founded on February 4, 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), stands on the historic homelands of the Massachusett people, a site which has long served as a place of meeting and exchange among different nations. The Museum opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876—the nation’s centennial—at its original location in Copley Square. Over the next several decades, the MFA’s collection and visitation grew exponentially, and in 1909, the Museum moved to its current home on Huntington Avenue. Today, the MFA houses a global collection encompassing nearly 500,000 works of art, from ancient to contemporary.

The Museum is located at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Karen Frascona