Tel Aviv Museum of Art receives $15 million gift

Paulson Family Foundation donation to be used to upgrade museum’s iconic main building and expand programming

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

The main building of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Art)
The main building of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Art)

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has received a $15 million gift from the Paulson Family Foundation, to be used to upgrade the museum’s iconic main building in the heart of Tel Aviv.

The donation, in celebration of the museum’s 90th anniversary, will include upgrades to enhance the visitor experience, expand programming and install environmentally efficient systems. It also provides an endowment that enables the museum to continue to upgrade and care for the building, which will be renamed The Paulson Family Foundation Building.

“The gift will enhance and expand the ways the museum engages visitors,” said museum direction Tania Coen-Uzzielli. “It also provides enormous behind-the-scenes benefits by enabling us to install new systems that improve all areas of operation and more effectively protect the works of art with which we are entrusted, our iconic building, and the environment.”

The improvements to the soft-Brutalist building, designed by Dan Eytan and Yitzhak Yashar and opened in 1971, will include systems and technologies to enhance the presentation of art, building upon the 2018 renovation that restored the 25,000-square-meter (270,000-square-foot) building to its original design by removing additions and changes made over the years.

The Paulson Family Foundation was founded in 2009 to provide support to education, science, health, culture and the arts, and has provided significant funding to Harvard University, New York University, The Central Park Conservancy, 92nd Street Y, UJA-Federation of New York, Jerusalem Arts Campus and other institutions.

Its director, John Paulson, is the president of a private investment company in New York, and has been a frequent visitor to Israel.

“With its incredible holdings of such 19th- and 20th-century masters as Van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Klimt, Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Magritte, Giacometti, Calder, Pollock, Rothko, O’Keeffe, and the monumental commission by Roy Lichtenstein in the museum’s lobby, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is simply breathtaking,” said Paulson. “Everyone who lives in or travels to Israel should be sure to visit this remarkable museum.”

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