Amanda Raquel Dorval (b. 1987), originally from Queens, NYC, is a Nuyorican-Dominican artist, library professional, Middle Eastern Studies graduate student, and anti-war veteran who served seven years in the US Air Force as an Arabic linguist. She received her BA in art history from Barnard College and graduated in May 2022 with an MS in Library and Information Science from Long Island University with a concentration in Archives Management, Rare Books and Special Collections. Amanda was the Bibliographer of Indigenous American art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Watson Library from 2021 to 2022. She was a 2022-2023 Research Fellow at the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, and also has library/archive experience at the American Museum of Natural History, World Monuments Fund, Brooklyn Museum, Jewish Museum, and Wildenstein Plattner Institute. As an artist, Amanda receives inspiration from her cultural heritage and military experiences. She is interested in the exploration of traditional and popular Puerto Rican, Nuyorican, and Taíno heritage and culture through use of photography, photocollage, sewing, beadwork, painting, embroidery, weaving, and costume design.
She is also currently pursuing a second masters degree in Near Eastern Studies at New York University, where she is interested in the cross-cultural influences between the Middle East and Latin America as well as visual culture and heritage in Iraq.
Photo: self-portrait, 2023.
I was born in NYC to Puerto Rican and Dominican parents, but my genetic makeup is Southern Iberian, Indigenous, and Western Sub-Saharan African. This mestizaje is reflective of the racial mixture that resulted from brutal colonialismo in the Caribbean after the arrival of Columbus in 1492.
My work explores Nuyorican experience and the cultural legacy of colonialism in Puerto Rico, though I also tie in aspects of my own military experience. I explore traditional themes and motifs that either come from Puerto Rico’s indigenous Taíno culture, were brought over by European conquistadores, or which exemplify Nuyorican culture. My primary media includes beadwork, an art form deeply rooted in indigenous cultures, as well as photography, embroidery, sewing, weaving, costume design, and Western painting techniques. I consider my artistic style mestizo, a mixture of indigenous and Western traditions which mirrors my own genetic mestizaje. The culture of the Taínos is prominent in my art. It is estimated that 60% of modern-day Puerto Ricans have Taíno DNA. Additionally, dark-skinned women are a dominating presence in my work. Finally, I often invoke religious themes which are entrenched in modern Puerto Rican culture.
Photo: by Joanna O'Shea, 2014
2023 - present: Archives Intern. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.
2021 - 2022: Research Associate/Bibliographer of Indigenous American Art. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
2021 - 2022: Research Fellow. The Hispanic Society Museum & Library, New York, NY.
2021 - 2022: Archives Intern. World Monuments Fund, New York, NY.
2021: Archives Intern. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
2021: Collections and Publications Intern. The Jewish Museum, New York, NY.
2021: Archives Intern. Wildenstein Plattner Institute, New York, NY.
2010-present: Freelance artist, designer, and portrait, lifestyle, and art photographer.
2018-present: PhotoVogue Portfolio
2019-Event Photographer: What's Up? Magazine, 2019 Bridal Expo, Annapolis, MD. 27 January; The Look, Annapolis, MD. 1 March. page 36; 2019 Spirit of Community Awards. Live! Casino, MD. 15 March. page 41; 15th Anniversary of South River on the Half Shell. History London Town and Gardens, MD. 9 May.
2013 - 2020: Iraqi-Arabic linguist, United States Air Force.
Library & Archives Publications, Exhibitions, and Blogs
2022 - A Salute to the Artistic Legacy of Native American Veterans. Perspectives: In Circulation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
2022 - Past/Present/Future: Expanding Indigenous American, Latinx, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Perspectives in Thomas J. Watson Library. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
2022 - The Middle Eastern Roots of Spanish and Latin American Repostería. Tertulias de Arte Hispano, Hispanic Society Museum & Library. YouTube.
2022 - From the Archives: A Focus on Ramadan. World Monuments Fund.
2022 - From the Archives: World Monuments Fund in Italy. World Monuments Fund.
2021 - The Iraqi Ba'ath Archives: Collective Memory Loss and Authoritarian Nostalgia in the Post-Saddam Era. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society (2021), 5 (2): 204–225.
Solo Art Exhibitions
2021 – Diary of a Nuyorican, virtual solo exhibition. Exhibizone, Biafarin Online Gallery. November 27 – December 27.
Group Art Exhibitions
2022 - Art Work: Artists Working at The Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, curated by Daniel Krenshaw. June 6 - 19.
2022 - The Flag Project, Rockefeller Center. Only One Earth, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Climate Museum in New York. 1 - 30 April.
2021 - The Flag Project, Rockefeller Center. Curated by Aperture Foundation. 27 March - 30 April.
2021 - Landscape Group Exhibition, F-Stop Magazine, images 15 and 16.
2021 - Der Greif, Guest Room monthly online exhibition, curated by Anna-Alix Koffi. January 31.
2020 - OVADA Gallery, Oxford, London. Photo Oxford Festival, "Women and Photography: Ways of Seeing and Being Seen." 16 October - 16 November.
2020 - Chromatic Awards International Color Photography Contest, Honorable mention, Amateur Portrait Category.
2020 - Chromatic Awards International Color Photography Contest, Honorable mention, Amateur Fine Art Category.
2020 - Photo Oxford, "Women & Photography: Ways of Seeing and Being Seen," 7th place.
2019 - 5th Fine Art Photography Awards, Amateur Series Nominee, Fine Arts Category.
2020 - "Photo Oxford: a celebration of women and photography – in pictures," The Guardian.