Award-winning museum and attraction content development firm, Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) will bring their 40 years of experience, knowledge and story-telling expertise to the World’s Jewish Museum.
Ralph Appelbaum is the founder and president of Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Under his leadership, the firm has created museums and educational environments, visitor and corporate centers, and outdoor parks and memorials that cover a wide range of subjects, including history, science, sports, and the fine arts. He is largely credited with transforming the museum from a dusty storehouse into a lively, engaging community asset.
Mr. Appelbaum began his career with the United States Peace Corps in 1964, helping artisans develop their native crafts. He continued his efforts as the design adviser to southern Peru for the US Agency for International Development and subsequently as East Coast director of the Department of Labor’s Project Earning Power, in conjunction with the President’s Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped.
Before founding RAA, Mr. Appelbaum was vice president for exhibitions at Raymond Loewy International, New York, where he directed design on museum projects. He has also taught course in design at all levels at Pratt Institute as well as a range of courses in New York University’s museum studies program. He holds an honorary PhD from the Massachusetts College of Art and is a Legend of Pratt Institute.
RAA provides innovative planning and designs solutions for many of the most visited museums and cultural destinations around the world. With over 700 completed commissions, RAA teams have delivered award-winning projects in over 50 countries.
Noted for its collaborative and narrative approach to design in the fields of social and natural history and the sciences, RAA is often engaged in projects of national and international importance. These projects include the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the United States Capitol Visitor Center, and the Newseum, all in Washington D.C; Presidential Libraries and Centers such as those for President William Jefferson Clinton and President Barack Obama, as well as Africa’s first Presidential Library for Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo; and major pavilions for Worlds Fairs. Over 50 million people a year enjoy RAA-developed experiences.
Further examples of RAA’s work includes the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, London, United Kingdom; Lincoln Castle Revisited, Lincoln, United Kingdom, which includes the display of the Magna Carta; the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri. The firm is currently designing the new Second World War Galleries at Imperial War Museums, London; the Lost Shtetl Museum, Seduva, Lithuania; the Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna, Austria; and the Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany. Many of RAA’s projects are firsts of a kind, such as the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, Russia.
RAA’s work has been recognized as setting the standard for the modern museum experience. In addition to hundreds of awards for distinctive contributions in design, the practice and its projects have also been awarded the Civic Trust Award; the Museums & Heritage Award for Best Permanent Exhibition; ‘Museum of the Year’ from the Art Fund Prize; the United States Presidential Award for Design Excellence; the Federal Design Achievement Award; and Designs of the Decade Award.
Examples of RAA Projects
National Museum of African American History and Culture: The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences.
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center: The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center is Russia’s first interactive museum of history. Its very existence is an inspiration to many Jews in Russia and in the Russian Jewish Diaspora who thought this story could never be told in their country of origin.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration, and future of human rights. Its aim is to not only build a national hub for human rights learning and discovery but also launch a new era of global human rights leadership.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: The permanent exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum explores modern genocide, its methods, and its effects. Two decades after its opening, it still demonstrates the importance of tolerance and cultivating in the public a sense of moral responsibility.
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