Professor of art at Bryn Mawr; specialist in northern Renaissance art. Snyder was born to Jerome Snyder and Martha Snyder. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1952 with a B.A., entering Princeton University where he received his M.F.A.in 1955. He studied under Kurt Weitzmann to whom he attributed his methodology. Erwin Panofsky suggested the subject of Geertgen tot Sint Jans. Snyder received a Fulbright fellowship for the 1955-1957 years to complete his dissertation, which was awared from Princeton in 1958. His thesis on Geertgen tot Sint Jans written under Bob Koch. He married Kit-Yin Tieng (later divorced). Snyder taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as an assistant professor beginning in 1957. He won the A. Kingsley Porter Prize from College Art Association of America in 1960 for his article, "The Early Haarlem School of Painting." In 1962 he was promoted to associate professor of art history at Michigan. Snyder was awared a second Fulbright for the 1962-1963 which he spent as a Berenson fellow at Harvard's Villa I Tatti between 1962 and 1963. In 1964 he joined Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, as an associate professor rising to professor of art history in 1969. He secured a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1972-1973. He was named Fairbank Professor of Humanities at Bryn Mawr in 1985, securing his second NEH fellowship the same year. At age 62, he succombed to liver disease. His students include Molly Faries.
Snyder, James E.
[dissertation:] Geertgen tot Sint Jans and the Haarlem School of Painting. Princeton University, 1958, Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall/Abrams, 1985; Medieval Art: Painting-Sculpture-Architecture, 4th-14th Century. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1989.
"Introduction." Synder, James E. Geertgen tot Sint Jans and the Haarlem School of Painting. Princeton University, 1958, [ix-x].