Chrysler Museum of Art
Oct 08, 2019
Erik Neal, Director, Chrysler Museum of Art
Chrysler Museum of Art

Erik Neil, PhD came to the Chrysler Museum of Art in 2014.  As Director, he has reaffirmed the strong community focus of the institution and revitalized the exhibition program. The Chrysler has also enjoyed significant advancements in digital technology and diversity under Neil’s leadership.

His commitment to employing the skills of the Museum’s talented staff has resulted in several upcoming exhibitions, including Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles and the Conflict of IdealsAmericans in SpainAlma W. Thomas: A Creative Life, and Jacob Lawrence. Each exhibition is intended to travel to other institutions and will include a catalog with new scholarship, raising the Chrysler’s profile across the country and around the world. With the support of an anonymous donor, the Chrysler opened the Wonder Studio, its first interactive gallery, in 2018. The hands-on space gives children an up-close look at the art and encourages them to use digital tools to create their own artworks. Neil has also worked consistently to bring greater diversity to the Museum’s exhibitions, programs, staff, and Board of Trustees.

Neil has been leading museums for twenty years. Earlier in his career, he was an active curator and worked with many notable artists, including James Turrell, Carrie Mae Weems, and Tony Oursler. He has also published books and essays in the History of Architecture, the History of Photography, and Contemporary Art. The breadth of his artistic interests, collaborative approach to work and leadership, and ability to build community have cemented the Chrysler Museum as a forerunner in the museum world.