Elizabeth Armstrong

Elizabeth Armstrong

Elizabeth Armstrong is the JoAnn McGrath Executive Director of Palm Springs Art Museum. Previously, she served as the Founding Curator of Contemporary Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). During her tenure at the MIA, Armstrong founded the museum’s Center for Alternative Museum Practice (CAMP), a lab for innovative and experimental programming at the museum, which has spawned a diverse range of successful programs. She also established the first program of contemporary art at the encyclopedic museum and raised $4 million for new acquisitions.

Armstrong has curated numerous exhibitions, including Global Remix I: What is Sacred?; More Real: Art in the Age of Truthiness; and Until Now: Collecting the New (1960-2010) at the MIA; Mary Heilmann Retrospective; Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at the Midcentury; and American Moderns: Villa America, 1900– 1950, at the Orange County Museum of Art; and Ultrabaroque: Aspects of Post Latin American Artat the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

She has also edited and authored essays for dozens of publications on contemporary art, including her award winning Birth of the Cool book, Girls’ Night Out; and David Reed: Motion Pictures, and is a frequent lecturer.

Armstrong earned a Master of Arts degree in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 2008, she was one of ten curators selected nationwide to participate in the inaugural year of the Center for Curatorial Leadership in partnership with Columbia Business School in New York City. 

Articles Related to Elizabeth Armstrong

Core Advancement


Elizabeth Armstrong (CCL 2008) Appointed Director of the Palm Springs Art Museum

Elizabeth Armstrong, an exceptional scholar, curator and leader, has been named the new director of the Palm Springs Art Museum. Armstrong was a member of CCL's inaugural class of fellows in 2008. Before becoming the MIA’s first-ever contemporary art curator, Armstrong served as acting director, chief curator, and deputy director ... Read More >



CCL Announces Selection of First Fellows for 2008

New Collaboration with Columbia Business School The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL), a new organization that will train curators to become museum directors, has announced the names of the organization’s first fellows, who will begin in the program in January 2008. Selected by a small committee of current and former museum directors, the ... Read More >