Maria C. Gaztambide, Ph.D.

Maria C. Gaztambide, Ph.D., is the executive director and chief curator of Public Art of the University of Houston System. Her work over the years has focused on the intersection of art, technology, and the public realm.  

Prior to joining UH, Dr. Gaztambide served as associate director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for over a decade. There her work straddled administration, research, publications, and long-term exhibition projects such as Contesting Modernity: Informalism in Venezuela, 1955–1975 (2018), Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (2015); and Intersecting Modernities: Latin American Art from the Brillembourg Capriles Collection (2013). Previously, she was a curator and taught at Tulane University; worked for the Smithsonian Institution (Archives of American Art) in Washington, New York, and Puerto Rico; as well as for the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico during its gestational phase.  

Dr. Gaztambide has been at the forefront of deploying digital imaging and online technologies in the visual arts since the onset of related breakthroughs, spearheading landmark projects for the MFAH and Tulane. She also publishes regularly on modern and contemporary art and recent books projects include El Techo de la Ballena: Retro-Modernity in Venezuela (University of Florida Press) and On Site: 50 Years of Public Art at the University of Houston System (Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers), both from 2019. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Gaztambide holds M.A. degrees in Art History and Arts Administration as well as an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Latin American Studies (Art History) from Tulane University.