November 7, 2021

Emily Ballew Neff

Emily Ballew Neff is the former executive director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; former director and chief curator of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma; and President, Emerita, of the Association of Art Museum Curators. Neff served as the founding curator of American Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she established a significant presence for the museum in the field of American art. Interested in organizing exhibitions that push the field of American art in new and innovative directions, Neff mounted two international exhibitions on eighteenth-century transatlantic art, including American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World (2013), and The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950 (2006), which examined the role the American West played in the development of American modernism. Barry Lopez’s essay, “Out West,” served as the introductory essay to the catalogue. Neff holds a B.A. in Art History from Yale University, an M.A. in Art History from Rice University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.