I am currently the Assistant Curator for Art of the Ancient Americas in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York. As an anthropologist curator in a fine art museum, my long-term goals are: to reconceive Precolumbian art in the encyclopedic museum by starting new conversations between and about works in the Met’s galleries; providing deeper descriptions and interpretation of works in The Collection Online and in traditional publications; and curate special exhibitions of Precolumbian art for the Met’s vast domestic and international audience.

In the past, I held an appointment as a Post-Doctoral Associate in Pre-Columbian Studies at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. I have taught a variety of courses, including the spring 2014 seminar, Environmental History of Pre-Columbian Latin America, in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In the fall of 2013, I taught a seminar on Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture in the Department of Art and Art History.

I earned my Ph.D.  in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University and am originally from Memphis, TN. I received my M.A. in anthropology from Brown University and my B.A. in anthropology from Vanderbilt University. My research focuses on the archaeology of Mesoamerica, specifically monumental architecture and art during the Preclassic Maya period (ca. 1000 BC – AD 250).

My field project from 2008-2012 at the site of El Palmar, Petén, Guatemala, was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, with practical support provided by the Casa Herrera of the Mesoamerica Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Contact me.


  1. JAMES! how can i contact you via email?

  2. Dear James
    This is Jorge Estevez (Taino) Ex Employee of the National Museum of the American Indian. Im writing to congratulate you on the exhibit. My niece went to see it and said she loved it. I have not been into the city in a minute but hope to come by soon.
    At the NMAI I worked with an Intern, Gisselle Jimenez who is fantastic, She informed me that she has applied for an internship with you at the MET. I thought I would put in a good word on her behalf, Im sure all your applicants are great, but I can wholeheartedly vouch for Gisselle.
    Thanks for your time brother

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: