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Israel Museum Inaugurates Its Renewed Campus on July 26
The renewed Holy Land gallery in the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. © Tim Hursley. Image courtesy of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, inaugurates its renewed 20-acre campus, featuring new galleries, orientation facilities, and public spaces, on July 26, 2010. The multi-year expansion and renewal project was designed to enhance visitor experience of the Museum’s art, archeology, architecture, and surrounding landscape, in complement to the original architecture and design of the campus. Led by James Carpenter Design Associates of New York and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects of Tel Aviv, the $100-million project also includes the comprehensive renovation and reconfiguration of the Museum’s three collection wings and the reinstallation of its outstanding encyclopedic collections.

The Museum will open its transformed collection galleries with a series of presentations highlighting new acquisitions and long-standing masterpieces from its encyclopedic holdings in the fine arts, archaeology, and Jewish art and life. In addition, to celebrate the project’s completion, artists Zvi Goldstein, Susan Hiller, and Yinka Shonibare will curate Artists’ Choices, a special three-part exhibition that provides a fresh look at the Museum’s permanent holdings, juxtaposing works from among all three of its collection wings.

The new campus also features two new monumental site-specific commissions—Olafur Eliasson’s Whenever the rainbow appears, a 44-foot-long work consisting of 360 individual paintings, installed at the end of the Museum’s newly designed Route of Passage; and Anish Kapoor’s Turning The World Upside Down, Jerusalem, a 15-foot-high sculpture of polished stainless steel anchoring Crown Plaza, the highest outdoor point on the Museum’s campus. These large-scale works respond directly to the Museum’s landscape and its new architecture and continue its long tradition of site-specific collaborations with contemporary artists.

“Forty-five years after the Israel Museum first opened its beautiful hilltop campus, we have completed an expansion and renewal project that will allow us to serve our public as never before,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “The most ambitious undertaking in our history, this project has yielded a truly transformational change across our campus. We look forward to welcoming our visitors to the Museum’s stunning new public spaces and galleries, which will facilitate a richer and more enjoyable experience of our unparalleled collections and of our powerful Jerusalem hilltop setting.”

The Israel Museum has seen tremendous growth since the 1965 opening of its original landmark campus, designed by Alfred Mansfeld and Dora Gad as a modernist reference to Jerusalem’s Mediterranean hilltop villages. The Museum’s architectural footprint has increased ten-fold since its opening, and its collections have grown significantly throughout its history, particularly in the past ten years. The project, which broke ground in June 2007, encompasses 80,000 square feet of new construction and 200,000 square feet of renovated and expanded gallery space within the Museum’s existing 500,000-square-foot architectural envelope.

The $100-million capital campaign supporting the Museum’s campus renewal, completed in December 2009, is the largest collective philanthropic initiative ever undertaken for a single cultural institution in the State of Israel. The Museum is also nearing completion of an endowment campaign, and has raised nearly $60 million toward its $75-million goal, which will bring the institutional endowment to a total of $150 million, comprising the largest endowment for any cultural institution in the country.

The Israel Museum | Zvi Goldstein | Susan Hiller | Yinka Shonibare |


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