The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has appointed Denis Weil as its new director. Weil is currently dean at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He will assume the position as of March 1, 2022, succeeding Ido Bruno, an Israeli designer and professor.
Prior to leading the Illinois Institute of Technology, Weil taught design at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He has held senior design-oriented roles at Bloomberg Philanthropies, McDonald’s, and Interactive Media Group, among other companies. He has served as a trustee of the Dorothea Gould Foundation in Zurich, as well as the John Howard Society in Toronto and other arts organizations in Chicago.
Weil does not have experience leading a museum. But Isaac Molho, the Israel Museum’s board chair, said in a statement that Weil’s work in the field of design had “generated meaningful cultural, educational, and social programs.” Molho added, “His experience as a leader, manager, fundraiser, and designer, together with his forward-looking vision for the museum, will serve us well.”
Weil comes to the Israel Museum as it continues to experience relatively rapid turnover among its directors. When Bruno came to the museum in 2017, he filled a post left vacant by his predecessor, Eran Neuman, who abruptly declined to take up the position just three months after his appointment was announced in January 2017. Bruno had taken over after James Snyder, who had led the museum for two decades up until that point.
After completing a four-year term, Bruno left the Israel Museum in May, although he will remain on the museum’s board temporarily. During his tenure, he helped expand the museum’s permanent collection and steered the institution during Covid. Some outlets have speculated that a difficulties involved with fundraising may have contributed to his departure.
Weil’s appointment is not the only change to senior-level staffing that the Israel Museum has seen in recent months. In April, the institution appointed two new curators, Tamar Manor-Friedman and Rachel Sarfati, to serve as the head of its fine arts and Jewish art departments, respectively.