Less than a month after taking up the position of director at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Eran Neuman has resigned, leaving the institution to hunt for yet another replacement. The vacancy comes after Neuman decided to remain in his position as director of the David Azrieli School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University.
Neuman was appointed in January following a nine-month headhunt, and started the job on a part-time basis on February 19, while discussions on salary and benefits were still underway. His predecessor James Snyder made far-reaching contributions to the museum during a 20-year directorship. Conflicting reasons have been given for Neuman’s departure, including Snyder’s continued involvement with the museum’s operations and an underestimation of the obligations related to the role. On April 5, the Israel Museum released a vague statement that Neuman’s resignation was due to “differences of perception in his role and working conditions.”
Israeli newspaper Haaretz first speculated that Neuman’s exit is the result of conflict stemming from Snyder’s appointment as the museum’s international president and director emeritus. Sources that spoke to The New York Times suggested Snyder wanted Neuman to consult with him while planning new exhibitions. They also speculated that Neuman miscalculated the role’s requirements of foreign travel and fundraising. However, others indicated Snyder’s continued presence as the reason for Neuman’s departure.
Snyder remains heavily involved in the museum’s global fundraising operations even after vacating the position of director in January. In the newly created role of international president, he organizes the institution’s International Friends of the Museum network that channels in monetary contributions from outside of Israel. Snyder also continues to develop working relationships with art institutions abroad.
Israel Museum deputy director Ayelet Shiloh-Tamir will become acting director until a replacement is found.
Katherine Volk is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific.
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