EASTON — The Academy Art Museum in Easton has announced that its director Erik Neil has accepted an appointment to serve as director and president of the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia.
Neil has served as director of the Academy Art Museum since 2010. The recently expanded Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America, according to a news release from the Academy Art Museum.
Over the last four years, as director of the museum, Neil has made a remarkable contribution to the museum’s growth, bringing to Easton the art of acclaimed figures such as Mark Rothko, Pat Steir, James Turrell, Chul Hyun Ahn, Kyung-Lim Lee and Andre Kertesz.
The academy commissioned a site-specific installation by James Turrell at the same time the artist had new work on view at institutions such as the MFA Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Guggenheim, according to the release.
During Neil’s tenure, the museum collection has grown significantly, adding both known and new artists, including those deemed regionally important. The museum acquired works by Picasso, Mondrian, Hockney, Ingres, Goltzius, and Rembrandt, as well as new holdings in 19th-century photography, according to the relesase.
Kay Perkins, chairman of the Academy Art Museum’s Board of Trustees, stated, “Erik has made the Academy Art Museum a museum for our community. We thank him for his four years of inspired leadership, community outreach, excellence achieved in exhibitions, permanent collection and education initiatives.”
“He has also been instrumental in leading the museum’s strategic planning efforts and growing the museum’s endowment fund, while keeping the Museum’s budget balanced. His talents will be missed by all,” Perkins stated.
Neil began his museum career in 1999 as director of the Newcomb Art Gallery of Tulane University in New Orleans, where he also served as an adjunct art history professor. He later became the executive director of the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, New York, before coming to the Academy Art Museum, according to the release.
He has been married for nearly 25 years to Luisa Adelfio, a sculptor and an exhibiting artist. The couple has four daughters.
Neil stated, “I have loved my time in Easton and growing the Academy Art Museum’s collection, programming and outreach. It has especially been a privilege to work with such a capable board of trustees and such a dedicated and talented staff. I will treasure the experiences I have had here and the friendships I have made.”
According to Perkins, the museum’s board of trustees will proceed immediately to conduct a search for a new director.
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