AMA | Art Museum of the Americas’ work is based on the principle that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities. This belief simultaneously serves to promote the core values of the Organization of American States (OAS) by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, dialogue and learning, highlighting themes such as democracy, development, human rights, justice, freedom of expression, and innovation. AMA’s work advances the inter-American agenda, drawing on the arts to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange. This is achieved by showcasing cutting-edge exhibits of artists whose output creatively combine aesthetics with topical social and political issues and by establishing a dialogue of these works with AMA’s Permanent Collection.
The origin of AMA | Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States (OAS) dates back to 1917 with the establishment of the Visual Arts Unit of the then Pan American Union. The OAS is the region’s premier forum for multilateral dialogue and joint action. The OAS mission is an unequivocal commitment to democracy, good governance, human rights, peace, security, and development.
In the late 1940’s, the Visual Arts Unit became a nexus for the promotion of Latin American and Caribbean art in the United States. In 1976 this unit became AMA, which is now housed in one of the OAS’ iconic buildings designed by noted architect Paul Crét in 1912. The building is Spanish colonial in style, with iron grilles, and a loggia decorated with richly colored tiles in patterns modeled after Mayan art.
With its unique regional focus, AMA collects and exhibits works by established and emerging artists and carries out other activities of an educational nature. The museum's permanent collection of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art is one of the most important of its kind in the United States. The museum also maintains a regular schedule of exhibits and programs.