Manuel Jordán received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico and completed his master’s and PhD degrees in art history at the University of Iowa. Among his previous positions, he served as the Phyllis Wattis Curator for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University in California and, prior to that, he was curator of the arts of Africa and the Americas at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama.
Jordán has conducted extensive field research on art and culture in Zambia and Botswana, with additional ethnographic work in Mexico, Peru, Panama, and Puerto Rico. His extensive publications include Makishi: Mask Characters of Zambia; Ngombo: Divination Arts of Central Africa; Makishi Lya Zambia: Mask Characters of the Upper Zambezi River Basin (coauthored by Marc L. Felix); and Chokwe! Art and Initiation among Chokwe and Related Peoples.
At MIM, Jordán is responsible for coordinating the work of the Curatorial Department, including the department’s in-house staff as well as consultants engaged for project-specific work around the world. He has primary responsibility for the Africa Gallery at the museum and also oversees the work of the Collections Department, which covers both conservation and registration.