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 Museums 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 Museums 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 projects 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 Museums permanent holdings, juxtaposing works from among all three of its collection wings.
The new campus also features two new monumental site-specific commissionsOlafur Eliassons Whenever the rainbow appears, a 44-foot-long work consisting of 360 individual paintings, installed at the end of the Museums newly designed Route of Passage; and Anish Kapoors Turning The World Upside Down, Jerusalem, a 15-foot-high sculpture of polished stainless steel anchoring Crown Plaza, the highest outdoor point on the Museums campus. These large-scale works respond directly to the Museums 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 Museums 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 Jerusalems Mediterranean hilltop villages. The Museums 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 Museums existing 500,000-square-foot architectural envelope.
The $100-million capital campaign supporting the Museums 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.