BODY AND SOUL | The State of the Jewish Nation

James S. Snyder

James S. Snyder

Director, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

James S. Snyder is a graduate of Harvard University and a Loeb Fellow of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

From 1986-1996, Snyder served as deputy director of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. During his tenure, he oversaw the museum’s $60-million, 350,000-square-foot expansion, which was completed in 1984. He also had significant organizational responsibility for such major international loan exhibitions as Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective (1980) and the Henri Matisse: A Retrospective (1992).

Snyder has been the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum since 1996. During his controversial tenure, the Museum has strengthened its international presence with a series of important loan exhibitions in Jerusalem and traveling exhibitions worldwide; continued to expand its holdings across all of its collecting areas; developed its network of International Friends organizations, now operating in sixteen countries worldwide; launched an aggressive campaign to double its endowment to $150 million; and undergone a series of upgrades and enhancements.

In 2006, Snyder was awarded the Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (Commander of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity) of the Republic of Italy. In 2010, he received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) of the French Republic. And in 2012, he was made an Honorary Citizen of Jerusalem, an honor first awarded to Israel's first President Chaim Weizmann.

Snyder co-authored Museum Design: Planning and Building for Art (Oxford University Press) in 1993; and he authored the book Renewed: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Campus Renewal Project (Israel Museum, 2011).

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