What Are You Reading? Dr. Victoria Ramirez

My name is Victoria Ramirez and I am the Executive Director of the Arkansas Arts Center.  I moved to Little Rock from Texas where I worked in several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Houston boasts a lively arts scene and visiting The Menil Collection was always one of my favorite pastimes.  I was so intrigued by their collection and other spaces on the Menil campus, including the Rothko Chapel.

What are you reading at the moment?

I am reading Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil.  As a former Houstonian, I’m fascinated by the history of the collection and how the various spaces on the campus came to be a reality.

The book tells the story of the Menil’s affinity for art and how they shared their collection with the public through teaching, publications, and exhibitions.  The book also outlines the formation and construction of The Menil Collection, a process heavy on my mind as we’re in the midst of constructing the re-imagined Arkansas Arts Center.

What book or other media do you keep coming back to again and again?

Years ago, my husband bought me The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.  The book sits next to my bed and I read a few pages now and again.  It’s interesting how there’s an “art of…” everything.  I’m a happy person, but a reminder is always helpful.

What children’s book do you wish every child could read?

I’ve always loved The Story of Ferdinand and, in fact, I still have a copy of the book.  It’s important to slow down in life – do as Ferdinand and smell the flowers.  I prefer the original with illustrations by Robert Lawson.