Gift to Enhance and Expand Museum Experience, including New Permanent Exhibition Gallery, at the National Archives
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Foundation for the National Archives has received a $13.5 million gift from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to enhance and expand the museum offerings at the National Archives. This gift, the largest single contribution ever received by the Foundation for the National Archives, will help create a new permanent exhibition gallery as well as a visitor orientation plaza at the Archives’ flagship building in Washington, DC.
In announcing the gift David Rubenstein said, “I am honored to assist the National Archives as it works to remind Americans — and all visitors — of the sacred freedoms we are privileged to have in this country.”
“We are extremely grateful to David Rubenstein for this wonderful gift and for his longtime support of the National Archives and our Foundation,” said Foundation Chairman and President Ken Lore. “His generosity will enable the Foundation to build upon its already strong public-private partnership with the National Archives. This gift is critical in offering visitors the opportunity to explore the story of America through the records that tell of the ongoing struggles and triumphs in perfecting our democracy.”
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said, “David Rubenstein is a true patriot. He understood the significance and relevance of the Magna Carta to our nation’s history and ensured that Americans would have an opportunity to view the document by purchasing it and placing it on permanent loan at the National Archives.”
Rubenstein’s gift, along with additional funds raised by the Foundation and from Congressional appropriations, will be used to expand the visitor and researcher experience at the National Archives Experience at the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC. The current configuration of the exhibition and public program areas draws more than 1 million people a year to the Archives. It includes the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the award-winning permanent exhibition “The Public Vaults,” the Lawrence F. O’Brien temporary exhibition gallery – currently showing “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet” — the William G. McGowan Theater, and the Boeing Learning Center.
The new spaces, slated for completion in 2013, will include an expanded exhibition hall, to be named the David M. Rubenstein Gallery, that will showcase original documents that chronicle the expansion of rights across the centuries. The exhibition will add context to the nation’s founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. The opening feature of the new gallery will be the 1297 Magna Carta, on loan from David Rubenstein. Rubenstein’s copy of the 1297 Magna Carta is the only copy of the landmark British document on permanent display in the United States.
A New Visitor Orientation Plaza
In addition to the Rubenstein Gallery the gift will help support the development of a new visitor orientation plaza that will introduce people from around the world to the rich resources of the National Archives and an expanded retail/research space that will encourage visitors to continue their experience by conducting their own research at the National Archives or by accessing web-based resources from their own homes and schools.
About the Foundation for the National Archives
The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives’ private-sector partner in the creation and ongoing support of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, public programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, educational initiatives, and historical/records-related products and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives by presenting the depth and diversity of the records through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs.
About the National Archives Experience
The National Archives Experience, created by the National Archives in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, has transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives’ Washington, DC building, and includes a renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the award-winning Public Vaults permanent interactive exhibition, the William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery for special exhibits, the Boeing Learning Center, the Digital Vaults online exhibit, and DocsTeach, a web-based educational resource. These components make the rich resources of the National Archives accessible to Americans nationwide.
About David M. Rubenstein
A native of Baltimore, Rubenstein is co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. A magna cum laude graduate of Duke, Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from The University of Chicago Law School. He served from 1975-76 as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-81, during the Carter Administration, Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. He co-founded The Carlyle Group in 1987.
In addition to his work with the National Archives, Rubenstein is chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a regent of the Smithsonian Institution and on the board of Directors or Trustees of Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the American Academy in Berlin, and Ford’s Theater.
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