Ray Hernández-Durán

Professor, Ibero-American Colonial Art and Architecture, Arts of Nineteenth-Century Mexico, and Museum Studies

Ray Hernández-Durán, originally from San Antonio, Texas, completed his B.A. in Psychology/Pre-Med (1988) and B.F.A. in Studio Art and Art History (1990) at the University of Texas at Austin, his M.A. in African Art History (1994) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in Pre-Hispanic and Colonial Latin American Art History (2005) at The University of Chicago. He is currently Professor of Art History in the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico. His specialized courses focus on the visual and material cultures of the Spanish American territories from 1496 through 1898, with research concentrations, geographically, in New Spain/Mexico/U.S. Southwest, and historically, in the 18th- and 19th centuries. Among the various courses he offers outside of the colonial area are included, Arts of Nineteenth-Century Mexico, Baroque Art and Architecture, Arts of Spain, U.S. Latinx art, Arts of Sub-Saharan Africa and African Diaspora, LGBTQ History and Visual Culture, Museum Studies, and Historiography and Methods.


His work appears in such publications as, Journal of Cuban Studies, Revista de História da Arte e Arqueologia, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: Visual Cultures of the Nineteenth Century, Nineteenth-Century Studies: The Interdisciplinary Journal of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Hacia otra historia del arte en México: De la estructuración colonial a la exigencia nacional (1780–1860), Religion as Art, Woman and Art in Early Modern Latin America, Buen Gusto and Classicism in the Visual Cultures of Latin America (1780–1910), The Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs, The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, and Encyclopedia of Mexico: History, Society, and Culture, among others. His book, The Academy of San Carlos and Mexican Art History: Politics, History, and Art in Nineteenth-Century Mexico (Routledge, 2017) will be followed by a second monograph, A Historiography of Colonial Art in Mexico, ca. 1855–1934 to be published by the University of New Mexico Press and an edited volume, A Routledge Companion to U.S. Latinx Art, for which he will serve as co-editor with Carmen Ramos, Ph.D. (National Gallery, Washington, D.C.) and Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Ph.D. (Ford Foundation, NYC). He is also working on an exhibition and exhibition catalog with Irene Vásquez, Ph.D. (Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, UNM) on the first generation of New Mexican Chicana and Chicano artists.


Ray has delivered papers at a wide range of conferences and symposia and has lectured at universities and museums in the U.S. and internationally. In New Mexico, he has presented at the Latin American and Iberian Institute, University of New Mexico Art Museum, UNM Center for International Studies, Albuquerque International Association, Albuquerque Museum, Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, also in Santa Fe. Among the institutions outside of New Mexico where he has been invited to speak or participate are included, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, Germany; The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK; Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador; The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts/National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Art Institute of Chicago; Denver Art Museum; San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas; The Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Southern Methodist University; Michigan State University; and California State University.


Conferences in which he has participated as session chair, panelist, respondent, and/or organizer include, College Art Association, Midwest Art History Society, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, Association of Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies, Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Coloquio Internacional del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, L’Association d’art des universités du Canada, Latin American Studies Association, American Studies Association, Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, and Texas State Historical Association.


Ray has been the recipient of various awards throughout his academic career, including, a Title VI F.L.A.S. Fellowship to study Portuguese in Brazil, a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Fellowship to study and conduct research in Nigeria, a second Title VI F.L.A.S. Fellowship to study Yoruba at UW-Madison, an African Studies Fellowship, a Latin American and Iberian Studies Travel Grant to conduct research in Haiti, a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship to conduct research in Mexico City, a MacArthur Fellowship to fund his position on the curatorial staff in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support a speaker series on colonial art, a Fulcrum Fund grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to support the production of an exhibition catalogue and a speaker series for an exhibition he curated as part of programming for the 2017 Way OUT West Film Festival, and most recently, two Cultural Affairs Grants from the City of Albuquerque for exhibition planning support, one for $30,000.00 (2019) and the other for $25,000.00 (2022).


Ray is a Faculty Affiliate of the Latin American and Iberian Institute and Latin American Studies at UNM, and a Faculty Research Associate of the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, also at UNM. He served as Interim Curator at the University of New Mexico Art Museum (2014–2016) and was a member of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society Spanish Market Standards Committee in Santa Fe (2018–2021). Nationally, he was a member of the College Art Association Conference Committee (2010–2013), the AP Art History Development Committee (2008–2012); and he was one of 8 specialists who designed the new AP Art History course taught across the United States, as a member of the AP Art History Curriculum Review Committee (2010–2012). Ray co-founded the Colonial Studies Working Group and the Interdisciplinary Methods in Colonial Studies colloquium, both, with support from the LAII. In 2006–2007, he helped found the graduate student journal, Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas, which is produced in the Department of Art and for which he has served as chief editor and is faculty advisor. He is also chief co-editor of the journal, Chamisa: A Journal of Literary, Performance, and Visual Arts of the Greater Southwest, which he co-founded with support from the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute and the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies.