Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Israel Museum Director Interviewed

The Media Line interviews James Snyder on the eve of the re-opening of the Israel Museum.  Here’s a portion:

Well, it’s an amazing thing. Jerusalem is a unique city in that it’s built from its own bedrock, as we all know. So the Israel Museum, clad in Jerusalem stone but built of glass, steel and other materials, sits on a hilltop that is Jerusalem stone and we actually excavated 1,000,0000 cubic feet of Jerusalem stone so as to order the plan and reengineer the plan within the original and preexisting envelope of the campus. The changes, in a way, that we made are surgical. When we are all finished, you will see and feel the aura of the essence of the original modernist idea of this place as a modernist that is modern backdrop for showing the history of material culture from the start of time to the present moment. It’s a curious thing. It’s a thrilling thing. Now, as you arrive here, we have formalized the entry. We have made a more clear path from the front of the campus to the heart of the campus. But now, unlike before, you will stand at the heart of the museum and you will be able to turn around 360 degrees and you will see the entrances to our collections for archaeology; Jewish art and life; the Western fine art traditions; the non-Western fine art traditions; our main auditorium; and our main temporary exhibitions galleries—all in a main 360 degree turn from the heart of the museum, from a place we now call the Cardo.

The full interview is here.

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