Lisa Phillips became the director of the New Museum in April 1999. Over the course of her tenure, the museum has grown into a major international cultural destination and has presented critically acclaimed exhibitions on a range of artists including Paul McCarthy, Elizabeth Peyton, Chris Burden, and Rosemarie Trockel. Prior to her role at the New Museum, Phillips was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She has authored over twenty publications and has lectured extensively around the world.
The New Museum's mission is: New Art, New Ideas. Founded in 1977 by curator Marcia Tucker with a bold vision of presenting contemporary culture in a critical and scholarly context, the institution has been a leader among contemporary art museums, and is among the most respected internationally for its risk-taking curatorial programme and its focus on emerging and under-recognized artists. Under Lisa Phillips's leadership, an expanded vision for the institution was formed - one that included collaborative partnerships, groundbreaking platforms for digital art, and the construction of the New Museum's first dedicated building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA. Over four million visitors have attended events in this landmark building. The New Museum's investment in expanding what a museum is and can be has included projects such IdeasCity - a cultural call that supports the creative sectors investment in civic issues and NEW INC - the first Museum-led incubator supporting entrepreneurs at the intersection of art-design-technology.