NEW YORK — The American Friends of the Israel Museum Gala celebrated the completion of the institution’s three-year, $100 million renewal project.
The event, on Oct. 25 which drew almost 600 guests to Cipriani 42nd Street here and raised more than $2.5 million, was aptly themed “A New Beginning.”
The renovation of the museum in Jerusalem, which first opened in 1965, included a doubling of gallery space to 200,000 square feet and an overall redesign to improve navigation and viewing of exhibits. The museum commissioned two new works as part of the project: Anish Kapoor’s 16-foot polished stainless steel sculpture “Turning the World Upside Down, Jerusalem,” in memory of the late Teddy Kollek, the museum’s founder and the city’s longtime mayor, and Olafur Eliasson’s installation “Whenever the rainbow appears,” which re-creates the colors of the light spectrum visible to the human eye in 300 hand-painted canvases.
“It never ceases to amaze me to realize the warmth and strength of the museum’s family, which parallels in its way the richness of its collections and truly makes us unique,” museum director James Snyder said.
Among those who attended the gala were: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) and his wife, Bonnie; Anne and Jerome Fisher, founder of Nine West; Linda and Harry Macklowe; Julie and Billy Macklowe; Judy and Michael Steinhardt; Bonnie Roche-Bronfman and Charles Bronfman, Stacey Bronfman; Arne Glimcher, Madge and Martin Miller, Melanie and Michael Arad and Lily Snyder and Josh Bernstein, star of the Discovery Channel’s “Into the Unknown.”
The Israel Museum houses extensive collections that range from archaeology to modern art and contemporary photography. It is home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, displayed in the Shrine of the Book, the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period and the five-acre Billy Rose Art Garden.