Erik H. Neil came to the Chrysler Museum of Art in 2014. As Director, he has reaffirmed the strong community focus of the institution with public programs and outreach and revitalized the exhibition program. The Chrysler has also enjoyed significant advancements in digital technology and diversity under Neil’s leadership.
Neil has been leading museums for 20 years and was first named Director of Newcomb Art Gallery of Tulane University in 1999. 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. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton and Harvard Universities and has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships from institutions such as the Getty Leadership Institute, the Mellon Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. 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.
"As I reviewed several hundred images of works in Collect 2021 I was again impressed by the range and very high quality of the artists who have been selected.
As a historian with a very strong interest in the history of design, I am fascinated with the ways the artists of Collect have engaged with the past and yet remain fresh and relevant. As might be hoped, the Crafts Council as organisers and gallerists as exhibitors, have attracted a range of artists who combine a remarkable mastery their chosen media with a willingness to stretch their expressive boundaries. Their knowledge of historical precedents in the use of forms and materials is evident as they alternately break from and build on traditions. I am especially pleased to see a group of younger artists forcefully express their concerns for the pressing issues of our time like environmental change, racism, and social justice."
––Erik H. Neil