Museum fact sheet

The $100-million capital project, launched in June 2007, upgrades and unifies facilities on the museum’s landmark 20-acre campus.

By DAVID STROMBERG
May 7, 2010 16:45
3 minute read.
Israel Museum construction

Israel Museum construction 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The current $100-million capital project, launched in June 2007, upgrades and unifies facilities on the museum’s landmark 20-acre campus.

The project encompasses:

• Creation of new public spaces and visitor amenities designed by James Carpenter Design Associates (New York).

• Reconstruction and reinstallation of the museum’s existing collection galleries by Efrat-Kowalsky Architects (Tel Aviv) and Pentagram Partners (London).

Project Cost:

• New construction and renovation: $80 million.

• Gallery reconstruction and reinstallation: $20m.

Funding:



•More than $80m. from 20 sources, including families and foundations from around the world and in Israel.

• $17.5m. from the State of Israel.

New features:

• Three new entry pavilions, housing ticketing, information and restaurant, retail and special event spaces.

• An enclosed, climate-controlled underground “route of passage” to a new three-story gallery entrance pavilion at the heart of the campus.

• A central cardo with access to the museum’s three collection wings, temporary exhibition galleries and auditorium facilities.

• Reorganized, expanded and reinstalled collection galleries now totaling 21,000 square meters, with space apportioned to contemporary art now totaling 2,300 sq.m.

• New temporary exhibition galleries totaling around 1,000 sq.m.

ARCHEOLOGY

A visual narrative of the ancient local landscape organized chronologically from prehistory through the Ottoman Empire. The transformed wing presents six “chapters” enhanced by thematic groupings highlighting subjects such as Hebrew writing, glass, and coins. Treasures from neighboring cultures – including Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome, and the Islamic world – also on view to complement coinciding historical periods.

Highlights:

• The Beit She’an Venus (second century CE), considered among the most important Roman sculptures found in the Land of Israel. Unearthed in 1993 in the Jordan Valley.

• Gold-glass bases from the Roman catacombs (fourth century CE), rare ancient medallions decorated with traditional Jewish motifs, which represent the earliest known depictions of Jewish symbols from the Second Temple to appear outside of Israel.

• The Heliodorus Stele (178 BCE), a 2,200-year-old inscribed stone that provides new insight into the dramatic story of Heliodorus and the Temple of Jerusalem, as recounted in the Second Book of Maccabees.


FINE ARTS INTERIOR

Completely reorganized to highlight connections between European old masters to contemporary art including: historical Israeli art; the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas; Asian art; architecture and design; photography; and prints and drawings.

Highlights:

• The Noel and Harriette Levine Photography Collection, comprising 125 works spanning more than 160 years of the history of the medium. On public display for the first time since being given to the museum in 2008.

• Alberto Giacometti, Diego in the Studio (1952), a melancholic portrait of the artist’s brother. The artist’s first painting to enter the museum’s collection.

• Carlos Amorales, Black Cloud (latent studio), 2007, a monumental installation of 10,000 black paper moths in a recreated studio within the museum.

JEWISH ART AND LIFE

Comprehensive picture of the Jewish cultural tradition from the Middle Ages to the present day. Five main sections – Rhythm of Life, Illuminating the Script, Jewish Year, Joy and Mourning, Festivals of Miracles and Joy – with contemporary Judaica and works of art from the museum’s fine art collections enhancing the presentation.

Highlights:

• Zedek Veshalom Suriname Synagogue (18th century). Transferred to the Israel Museum in 1999, the Suriname synagogue underwent an exacting multi-year restoration and will be displayed as an integral component of a new synagogue route featuring three other complete synagogues from Germany, Italy and India.

• Judaica from the Alan and Riva Slifka Collection (early 20th century). Works by Jerusalem artists from the Bezalel School’s first period (1906-1929), including three vases made just after 1917 by Bezalel students from artillery shells found in World War I battlefields; adorned Hanukka lamps; and carpets depicting holy sites in Jerusalem.

 – D.S.

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