The Long Island Museum has brought a new executive director on board following the retirement of former director Jackie Day.
Neil Watson, the former director of the Katonah Museum of Art, will assume part-time responsibilities through October and will assume the role full-time in November. James W. Wicks, president of the museum's Board of Trustees, called him "a seasoned museum professional and cultural leader with a compelling vision for our future."
“After an extensive search, Neil quickly became our unanimous choice to lead the museum into the future,” Wicks said in a statement. “We’re truly excited about Neil’s arrival. His enthusiasm has energized all of us, and we look forward to great things to come at the museum."
Under Watson's eight years of leadership at Katonah, its membership grew by a third and launched award-winning educational initiatives and exhibits. Westchester Magazine named him one of Westchester’s “Best Leaders and Bosses” in 2012.
Prior to Katonah, he served as executive director of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, Del., and held curatorial positions at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash., and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach and the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida.
Day, the museum's former director, will remain active on a part-time basis until Watson takes over full-time.
Watson said he is looking forward to moving to Long Island, where he has family and has often visited.
"The Long Island Museum is a pivotal cultural leader in the region," he said, "and with the newly renovated Carriage Museum we have an opportunity to build on previous success and create new opportunities to engage the community and position the museum as a destination for families, scholars and individuals looking for inspiration and sheer fun.”