Israel Museum Director to Speak at Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will host James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher director of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, as guest speaker for the annual Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Lecture on Saturday, April 21, at 2 p.m. The lecture is free with museum admission.

Snyder will reflect on the recent expansion and renovation of the Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Under Snyder’s direction, the museum underwent the most comprehensive upgrade of its 20-acre campus since its founding in 1965, and features new galleries, entrance facilities, and public spaces. Completed in the summer of 2010, the $100-million project was designed to enhance the visitor experience of the collections, architecture, and surrounding landscape, while complementing its original design.

During his 16 years as director, Snyder has strengthened the museum’s encyclopedic collection of more than 500,000 objects through strategic acquisitions and gifts, enhanced the museum’s international presence with an ambitious series of loan and traveling exhibitions, and launched a campaign to double the museum’s endowment to $150 million. Other projects during Snyder’s tenure include the restoration and expansion of the Shrine of the Book, the wing of the museum that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world.

Prior to his appointment at the Israel Museum, Snyder held a number of positions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, including deputy director from 1986 to 1996. He oversaw the museum’s $60-million, 350,000-square-foot expansion in 1984 and helped organize major international loan exhibitions such as Henri Matisse: A Retrospective and Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective.

Snyder was born in 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a Loeb Fellow of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

This lecture is sponsored by the Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Endowment Fund in conjunction with the DIA auxiliaries European Paintings Council and Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

The Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Lecture was established in 1997 in memory of Dr. Coleman Mopper, who passed away in 1996. Dr. Mopper and his late wife, Shirley, were founding members of The Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts and had been longstanding members and patrons of the DIA. The Moppers were avid collectors of European paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts, and made numerous gifts to the museum. They were recognized with a DIA Lifetime Service award in 1996. In Dr. Mopper’s memory, friends generously endowed an annual lecture on European art to be given by an internationally recognized specialist.

Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

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