Through the Latin American Art Department and its research institute, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has developed a premier collection and exhibition space for Latin American art. The MFAH is committed to collecting, exhibiting, researching, and educating the public about the diverse artistic production of Latin Americans and Latinos, with an emphasis on opening new avenues of intercultural dialogue and exchange.

Since its creation in 2001, the department has acquired more than 400 pieces, including significant works by major modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino artists. The success of the department and the ICAA has continued primarily because of the funds raised at the Latin American Experience Galas, with support from the Latin Maecenas patron group, and with gifts from generous donors.