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Thomas B. F. Cummins

Director and Dumbarton Oaks Professor of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art

Subject Specialty

    • Pre-Columbian Studies

    Professional Biography

    Thomas B. F. Cummins is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of ten books, the latest of which is Sacred Matters: Animacy and Authority in the Americas, coedited with Steve Koisiba and John Janusek and published by Dumbarton Oaks in 2020. Cummins is a member of the Executive Committee of Dumbarton Oaks, and former member and Chair of the Pre-Columbian Senior Fellows.

    Cummins served as the Director of the University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies, the Interim Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard, the Chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture, and Member of the Comisión Sectorial del Sistema Nacional de Museos, Perú. He is a Faculty Member of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, where he is codirecting, with Professor Alejandro de la Fuente, a three-year international seminar, Afro-Latin American Art: Building the Field, funded by a generous Getty Foundation Connecting Art History Grant.

    A member of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at the Museum of Modern Art and editor in chief of the Grove Encyclopedia of Latin American Art (Oxford University Press), Cummins is also a Member of the Executive Committee of Villa I Tatti, Florence. He received La Orden “Al Mérito por Servicios Distinguidos” En el Grado de Gran Cruz from the Republic of Peru, the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize from the Modern Language Association, and the Bryce Wood Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association. Professor Cummins is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.