In an unprecedented achievement for an Israeli cultural institution, the Israel Museum is proud to announce that it has welcomed one million people to its renewed campus since its inauguration one year ago. During this time, visitors have enjoyed the Museum’s renewed galleries, new architecture and rich program of exhibitions, events and activities.
Programming highlights included: the inaugural exhibition Artists’ Choices: Zvi Goldstein, Susan Hiller, Yinka Shonibare, a three-part presentation that juxtaposed works from all three of the Museum’s collection wings; the major traveling exhibitionWilliam Kentridge: Five Themes, which drew over 200,000 visitors to the Museum during its five-month showing; “Contact Point,” a night of one-time encounters among artists, writers, and performers with artworks through the Museum’s galleries and campus; and the unveiling of two monumentally-scaled site specific installations: Olafur Eliasson’s Whenever the rainbow appears (2010), and Anish Kapoor’s Turning The World Upside Down,Jerusalem (2010), created for the Museum’s renewal.
Museum director James Snyder said, “It has been deeply gratifying to observe the way in which Israeli and international visitors have been drawn by the magnetism of the renewed Museum. And these record attendance figures – more than double our highest attendance in more than a decade – could not be a better endorsement of the success of the Museum’s transformation.”
Amir Mahol from Kibbutz Hulda and his daughters Noga and Maayan were welcomed at the entrance to the Museum today with the news that they were the one millionth visitor(s) since the inauguration of the renewed Museum. James Snyder and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were on hand to greet the surprised visitors and present them with a lifetime family membership to the Museum, a collection catalogue, and an invitation to a private behind-the-scenes tour.
“In just a year, one million visitors from around the world have made the renewed Israel Museum the cornerstone of culture for the city of Jerusalem,” said Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. “After a tremendous amount of investment, creative thinking, beautiful design, and visionary management, the Israel Museum is now one of the world’s top cultural institutions. The people of Jerusalem are honored by and appreciative of this great symbol of Jerusalem’s cultural revolution.”
Inaugurated officially on July 25, 2010, and featuring new collection and exhibition galleries, orientation facilities, and public spaces, the Israel Museum’s three-year renewal project was designed to enhance visitor experience of the Museum’s art, architecture, and surrounding landscape, in complement to its original design. Led by James Carpenter Design Associates of New York and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects of Tel Aviv, the $100-million project also included the comprehensive redesign and reinstallation of its encyclopedic collections throughout the Museum’s three collection wings – for archaeology, the fine arts, and Jewish art and life.