Elizabeth Neilson Armstrong

elizabetharmstrongThe JoAnn McGrath Executive Director of the Palm Springs Art Museum

Elizabeth Armstrong joined the Palm Springs Art Museum in January 2015 as the Chief Executive Officer and Director. In this role, she provides vision, leadership, motivation, and the highest quality standards for the organization, including its two satellite spaces in Palm Springs and Palm Desert. She is responsible for the overall management of the museum and achievement of its mission and financial stability.

Prior to talking this position in Palm Springs, Armstrong served as the Founding Curator of Contemporary Art and Director of the Center for Alternative Museum Practice at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). In addition to overseeing the MIA’s first contemporary art program, she founded and directed the museum’s Center for Alternative Museum Practice (CAMP), an in-house think tank that engages new approaches to the display and interpretation of the museum’s collections. Recognized for her long record of innovative exhibitions and publications, Armstrong is a leader in shaping the museum’s 21st century identity as an institution of dynamism and exchange.

Prior to her MIA post, she served as Deputy Director for Programs and Chief Curator at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California. She also worked as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1996-2000) and at the Walker Art Center (1983-1996). Armstrong earned an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a B.A. in American Studies from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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