The Huntington Appoints Diva Zumaya Associate Curator of European Art

Posted on Thu., May 2, 2024

SAN MARINO, Calif.—The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens announced today the appointment of Diva Zumaya as the new associate curator of European art. Zumaya comes to The Huntington from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she currently holds the position of associate curator of European painting and sculpture. She will join The Huntington on June 3.

“We are delighted to welcome Diva to The Huntington, where she will be a passionate advocate for our world-class collection of European art,” said Christina Nielsen, The Huntington’s Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Museum. “Her highly collaborative and multivocal curatorial approach, along with her interest in connecting our historic holdings with contemporary experiences, will be key as we continue to reimagine how we can best reflect and serve Huntington’s diverse audiences through the interpretation of our art, library, and botanical collections.”

Zumaya is a specialist in early modern European art history and brings a cross-disciplinary approach to her curatorial practice. At LACMA, she began as a Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow in 2018, became staff assistant curator of European painting and sculpture in 2020, and was named the associate curator in 2023. She organized “The World Made Wondrous: The Dutch Collector’s Cabinet and the Politics of Possession” (Sept. 17, 2023–March 3, 2024), an exhibition that brought together highlights from across curatorial departments in new juxtapositions and groupings, including works of art from the Middle East, Chinese art, costume and textiles, decorative arts and design, Egyptian art, Japanese art, prints and drawings, and South and Southeast Asian art.

Before her work at LACMA, Zumaya co-curated with Maggie Bell the 2017 Getty Pacific Standard Time’s LA/LA exhibition “Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara,” which was co-presented by the Art, Design, and Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. The exhibition explored the persistence of Chumash artistic traditions through the mission period in Santa Barbara County (ca. 1769–1833). While curating this exhibition, she also held teaching positions at UC Santa Barbara and was a curatorial assistant at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

“I am thrilled to join The Huntington, an institution that I have long admired as a major cultural and research center with invaluable collections that allow new connections to be drawn across disciplines,” Zumaya said. “I look forward to diving into the endless possibilities opened up by The Huntington’s vast resources, such as its botanical experts, its built-in scholarly community, and its many archival collections vital to California and world history. My family background—at once European, Chicanx, Indigenous, and deeply tied to Los Angeles—has contributed to my investment in producing curatorial programs that connect European art history with Southern California’s diverse communities, and I look forward to applying this practice at The Huntington.”

As the associate curator of European art, Zumaya will help develop and curate exhibitions, advise on new art acquisitions, and secure loans, among other activities, building on The Huntington’s signature strengths while also considering the connections among Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

Zumaya earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture from UC Santa Barbara and a B.A. in art history from Mills College. Her dissertation—We are bent, not broken by the waves: Clandestine Devotion and Community Perseverance in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Catholic Visual Culture—examined how 17th-century Dutch Catholics deployed art to renew their sense of collective identity. She has presented her research and given lectures at conferences and universities nationally. Her essays will be included in the forthcoming publication Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures (Leiden: Brill).

# # #

[EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution digital image available on request for publicity use. Request Images]

About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a cultural and educational institution of global significance. Building on Henry E. and Arabella Huntington’s renowned collections, The Huntington supports research and promotes education in the arts, humanities, and botanical science through the growth and preservation of its collections; the development of a community of scholars, school programs, and partnerships; and the display and interpretation of its extraordinary resources for diverse audiences. The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Visitor information:

Jessica McCormack, 323-497-9308,
Keisha Raines, 626-405-2246,