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Gift to Support Key Upgrades to Museum’s Iconic Building, Enhancing and Expanding Visitor Experience, Advancing Sustainability, and Creating Endowment for its Ongoing Operations and Improvements

Tel Aviv, Israel—June 7, 2021—The Tel Aviv Museum of Art (TAMA) announced today it has received a $15-million gift from the Paulson Family Foundation in celebration of the Museum’s 90th anniversary. The landmark donation from the US-based foundation will support an extensive upgrade of the museum’s main building to enhance visitor experience, expand programming, and install new, state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient systems. It also provides an endowment that will enable the Museum to continue to upgrade and care for the building as new exhibition and operational technologies are created. The iconic, soft-Brutalist building, designed by Dan Eytan and Yitzhak Yashar, has become a beacon for creativity in the cultural heart of Tel Aviv, alongside its neighbors the Israeli Opera, Cameri Theater, and Beit Ariela Municipal Library. The building is being named The Paulson Family Foundation Building in honor of this transformative and enduring gift.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is home to an important collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art and is the nation’s leading museum of modern and contemporary art, including the foremost collection of art from Israel. The 25,000-square-meter (270,000-square-foot) building, which opened in 1971 and this month marks its 50th anniversary, features four galleries pivoting off the central atrium.

The comprehensive upgrade of the building will encompass installation of new systems and technologies that enhance the presentation of art and the museum’s programs and provide more environmentally efficient and sustainable operations. It builds upon the 2018 initiative that restored the building to its original design by removing additions and amendments that had been amassed since it first opened.

“On behalf of the citizens of Tel Aviv-Yafo and all of the people of Israel–including future generations–I’d like to thank John Paulson and the Foundation for this transformative gift,” stated Mayor Ron Huldai. “Tel Aviv is driven by creativity and innovation, so the Paulson Foundation’s generosity enables the Museum to expand its vital role as an inspirational resource for our great city.”

“In its short history, Israel has created many institutions in culture, science, education, healthcare, and technology, which have achieved global stature, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art stands among them,” stated John Paulson, Director of the Paulson Family Foundation. “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. Everyone who lives in or travels to Israel should be sure to visit this remarkable museum.”

“The Paulson Foundation’s generous gift will greatly enhance and expand the ways we engage our visitors in the myriad experiences we provide to them, which is at the heart of everything we do. This is crucial because we are as much an educational and civic resource as we are a cultural one. The inclusion of an endowment means that we can continue to update and improve the way we present our collections and programs indefinitely into the future, which makes this gift a truly visionary one,” added Tania Coen-Uzzielli, Director of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. “This gift 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.”

About The Paulson Family Foundation and John Paulson

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

John Paulson is the President of Paulson & Co. Inc., a private investment company based in New York City. A former Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and previous Chair of the Wall Street Division of the UJA-Federation of New York, Mr. Paulson has been a frequent visitor to Israel.

About the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (TAMA)

Tel Aviv Museum of Art is one of Israel's preeminent cultural institutions and in 2019 welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors. The Museum is home to an extraordinary collection of modern and contemporary art by Israeli and international artists and a select collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist art that provides depth and context to its areas of specialization.

In recent years the museum has concentrated on engaging audiences through programs, collaborations, and major exhibitions by leading contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Joana Vasconcelos, Louise Bourgeois, Douglas Gordon, Elmgreen and Dragset, Ibrahim Mahama, Tom Friedman, Christian Marclay, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Hilma Af Klint, Jeff Koons, and William Kentridge, among others.

TAMA also offers a rich array of cultural events, including concert series, performances, dance, films, and educational programs for children and adults. TAMA's program aims to stimulate a dialogue between past and present, explore the canonic and the experimental, and nurture an arts and culture environment that's accessible and relevant to a wide range of audiences.

Press Release — June 2021