Richard Armstrong was appointed director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in November 2008. Armstrong leads the Guggenheim Foundation and its museums—including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi—and serves on the Guggenheim Foundation board of trustees.
Since Armstrong’s arrival, the Guggenheim has undertaken global initiatives in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East as well as multi-disciplinary projects. The Guggenheim’s exhibitions during Armstrong’s tenure have emphasized scholarship, lesser-known histories and in-depth presentations of single artists. Notable exhibitions during this period include: “Maurizio Cattelan: All”; “Italian Futurism 1909 to 1944”; “Picasso: Black and White”; “Christopher Wool”; “V.S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process Painting as Life”; “Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow 1950s-1960s”; “On Kawara”; “Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting”; “Doris Salcedo”; “Agnes Martin”; “Danh Vo”; “Giacometti”; and “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future”.
Prior to his directorship of the Guggenheim, Armstrong was the Henry J. Heinz II Director at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh from 1996 to 2008. He began at Carnegie Museum of Art as a curator in 1992 and organized the 1995 Carnegie International. From 1981 to 1992, Armstrong was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he co-organized four Whitney Biennials as well as a number of other exhibitions. In 1980, he served on the Artists Committee to organize the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles. He began his career as a curator at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in California from 1975 to 1979.
Armstrong was born in Kansas City, Missouri, graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois with a BA in art history and studied at the Université de Dijon and the Université de Paris, Sorbonne.