• News
  • Jan 12, 2017

Eran Neuman Named Israel Museum Director

Eran Neuman replaces James Snyder for the role of Anne and Jerome Fisher director at Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Courtesy Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s Israel Museum has named Eran Neuman as the new Anne and Jerome Fisher director. On February 19, Neuman will replace current director James Snyder, who has served in the position for the past 20 years.

According to the Museum’s press material, Neuman was elected following a unanimous decision by the board made nine months into the search to replace Snyder. He was the top choice for the role. Isaac Molho, the museum’s chair of the Board of Directors, said: “Eran has the right mix of leadership experience, academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and civic values needed to guide the Israel Museum into the future.”

Neuman stated: “I am honored to be joining the Israel Museum at such an important moment in its trajectory. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at the Museum and with its leadership to build upon the incredible accomplishments of my predecessor, James Snyder.”

Neuman is currently the director of Tel Aviv University’s David Azrieli School of Architecture. In this position, Neuman developed new academic centers and created professional training and scholarship programs. Under his directorship, the School became known as one of Israel’s leading architectural institutions. An expert in postwar architecture and structures commemorating the Holocaust, Neuman’s academic exploration delves into the impact of new technologies on design and practice. He founded the Azrieli Architectural Archive at Tel Aviv Museum of Art and which opened in 2010 and in 2002, he co-founded Open Source Architecture, an international research collaborative. Neuman has also curated exhibitions home and abroad. In 2014, “David Yannay: Architecture and Genetics” was presented at the Tel Aviv Museum and he was a co-curator for 2006 “The Gen[H]ome Project” at MAK Center in Los Angeles. He has also organized and participated in various conferences and seminars at leading global institutions–such as Princeton University, Harvard University and Monash University.

Israel Museum was founded in 1965 and is the largest cultural institution in Israel. The museums collection houses 500,000 objects dating from prehistory to present day across various categories–from Archaeology to Fine Arts and Jewelry. The Museum also features a vast assortment of biblical and Holy Land artifacts, most notably the Dead Sea Scrolls. Concluding in 2010, the Museum underwent a $100-million renewal and expansion campaign that doubled the collection and exhibition galleries to over 200,000 sq. ft.

Outgoing director Snyder expressed his approval for his successor: “Eran is someone who knows how to build institutional resources, create collaborative initiatives, and bring new ideas to life. He is both an innovator and a scholar, bringing essential talents to the Museum and, in turn, to the people of Israel and to our international visitors for whom the Museum reflects cultural values that resonate both locally an globally.” Snyder has been credited with transforming the museum into an international establishment, with dramatic growth and annual attendance reaching between 750,000-1,000,000 during his time. He continues to develop the museum’s global initiatives in a newly created role, as international president. 

Katherine Volk is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific.

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