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Elizabeth Neilson Armstrong

Elizabeth Neilson Armstrong Curator of Contemporary Art Contemporary Art Department Head Director of CAMP (Center for Alternative Museum Practice)
Department: Contemporary Art

Current MIA Projects

Organizing “MORE REAL? Art in the Age of Truthiness,” a traveling exhibition on reality in contemporary art and culture


M.A., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Hampshire College

Background/Work History

  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts since 2008
  • Deputy Director for Programs and Chief Curator at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California
  • Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
  • Curator at the Walker Art Center
  • Curatorial Assistant at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology, Berkeley, California
  • Research Assistant at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Grants Administrator at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C.

Specialty/Area of Interest


Modern and contemporary art

Honors and Professional Associations

  • The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship, 2009
  • One of ten U.S. curators selected to participate in the inaugural year of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, a program that prepares top curators for positions of museum leadership in collaboration with the Columbia Business School in New York, 2008
  • AAMC’s top award for best exhibition publication for “Birth of the Cool: Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury,” 2007
  • International Association for Art Critics Special Exhibition Award for the exhibition “Peter Fischli and David Weiss: In a restless World,” 1998
  • International Association Art Critics Award for “In the Spirit of Fluxus” catalogue, 1994–95
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Museum Professionals, 1989

Selected Exhibitions and Publications

  • "More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness," exhibition, 2013, and accompanying catalogue of the same name, published by the MIA and DelMonico Books, an imprint of Prestel Verlag, Munich, London & New York, 2012)
  •  “Until Now: Collecting the New (1960–2010),” MIA, 2010
  • “Art Remix,” MIA, 2010
  • Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury, (Munich and Newport Beach: Prestel Publishers and Orange County Museum of Art, 2007)
  • “Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone,” (Newport Beach: Orange County Museum of Art, 2007)
  • “Catherine Opie: In and Around Home,” (Ridgefield, Conn., and Newport Beach: Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Orange County Museum of Art, 2006)
  • “Villa America, American Moderns, 1900–1950,” (Newport Beach: Orange County Museum of Art, 2005)
  • “California Biennials,” (Newport Beach: Orange County Museum of Art, 2006, 2004, 2002)
  • Walker Art Center Permanent Collection Catalogue, (Minneapolis, 2004)
  • “Girls’ Night out,” (Newport Beach: Orange County Museum of Art, 2003) 
  • “Ultrabaroque: Aspects of Post-Latin American Art,” (San Diego: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego,
  • “Geoffrey James: Running Fence,” (North Vancouver, Canada: Presentation House Gallery, 1999)
  • “David Reed Paintings: Motion Pictures,” (San Diego: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 1998) 
  • “Double Trouble: The Patchett Collection,” (San Diego and Santiago de Compostela: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1998)
  • Interview with Kara Walker, no place (like home), (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1997)
  • “Peter Fischli and David Weiss: In a Restless World,” (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, in association with
    Serpentine Gallery, London, 1996)
  • Paul Thek, exhibition review, Artforum, November 1995 
  • Interviews: Ed Ruscha, Bruce Conner, OCTOBER 70 (The Duchamp Effect), Fall 1994 
  • “In the Spirit of Fluxus,” (Minneapolis and New York: Walker Art Center and D.A.P., 1993)
  • “Siah Armajani: Bridge Book,” (Minneapolis: Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Walker Art Center, 1991) 
  • “Eric Fischl’s Monotypes: In Continuum,” Scenes and Sequences: Recent Monotypes by Eric Fischl, (Hanover, N.H.: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 1990) 
  • “Jasper Johns: Printed Symbols,” (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1990) 
  • “Ellsworth Kelly,” book review, Print Quarterly, June 1989 
  • First Impressions, (Minneapolis and New York: Walker Art Center and Hudson Hills Press, 1989) 
  • “Cross-References: Sculpture into Photography,” (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1987) 
  • Laurie Simmons: Water Ballet/Family Collision, (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center) 
  • Tyler Graphics: Catalogue Raisonné and Tyler Graphics: The Extended Image, (Minneapolis and New York: Walker Art Center and Abbeville Press, 1987) 
  • “Robert Motherwell: The Collaged Image,” (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1985) 
  • “Images and Impressions, Painters who Print,” (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1984)
  • Public Art at the Fair, The Anthropology of World’s Fairs: San Francisco’s Panama Pacific International
    Exposition of 1915
    , (London and Berkeley, California: Scholar Press and the Lowie Museum of Anthropology,
  • “American Scene as Satire, the Art of Paul Cadmus in the 1930s,” Arts magazine, March 1982


(612) 870-6362
(department phone)

February 2013