Bezalel Designer and Curator Chosen as Israel Museum’s New Director

Ido Bruno to replace Eran Neuman, who resigned after three months in office, partly due to the dominance of previous director James Snyder

Ido Bruno.
Eli Posner/Israel Museum

The Israel Museum’s board of directors, headed by attorney Isaac Molho, has chosen Prof. Ido Bruno as the museum’s new director.

Bruno, 54, is an industrial designer living in Jerusalem and a senior lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, designing and curating exhibitions. He will enter his post after a year-long vacuum at the museum’s top post.

The museum’s veteran director James Snyder left in December, but he continues to play a dominant role in the institution. He participates in key functions and raises money, working through Friends of the Museum with collectors and institutions around the world.

Eran Neuman, the head of the school of architecture at Tel Aviv University, was appointed as the museum’s director in January but decided in April not to assume the post due to the Snyder’s continued involvement at the museum, as well as other disagreements with museum management. Deputy director Ayelet Shiloh Tamir has filled in as acting director since April. In May, curator Yigal Zalmona was appointed as the museum’s interdisciplinary chief curator.

Bruno’s works have been shown in museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Lausanne’s Mudac – The Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts, the Sendai City Museum in Japan, the Design Museum in London and at the Triennale in Milan. He will assume his post in the coming weeks after ratification by responsible government agencies.

Molho, the museum’s chairman, said that “Ido has shown an uncompromising professionalism, which he brings to this job along with much experience, accumulated over his career, during which he designed and curated dozens of museum exhibits and spearheaded significant projects.” He added: “Ido is guided by principles and has devoted many years to the impartment and dissemination of knowledge and culture in Israel and abroad. Suffice it to view his work in order to see his abundant creativity. I’m convinced that his creativity, energy and exceptional achievements are compatible with the pace of development and excellence which characterize the Israel Museum, and that the museum will reach new heights under his guidance, benefiting visitors from Israel and overseas.”

Bruno has filled many roles connected to curating, design and teaching, according to the Bezalel website. He coordinated final student projects at the department of industrial design between 1997 and 2001 and was a member of the steering committee for the new Bezalel building, among other roles. Bruno initiated and developed a laboratory of environment and sustainability, a unique venture for final projects shared by the architecture and industrial design departments. He also developed a course on design and ethics in the graduate studies program in design and management.

Bruno owns the IDBruno-Industrial Design studio, which used to design medical products such as simulators and medical cameras, as well as products for the communications business. The studio currently develops venues for people with special needs, such as Israel Elwyn’s Katie Manson “sensory garden” in Jerusalem and exhibitions for museums of art, archaeology and science.

It also produces objects for active and interactive experimentation. The studio has designed and produced, among other projects, the Herod exhibition at the Israel Museum, as well as collaborating with Arthur Bruter, a Bezalel graduate, in designing an earthquake-proof table, shown at the Tel Aviv Museum. Lately, Bruno has curated a bicycle exhibition called “200X2”, which will be shown at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem until next May.