Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Infobox Company
company_name = Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.
company_type = Private
foundation = 1978
location = New York, USA
industry = Design
num_employees= 150-200? (2008)
homepage = [http://www.raany.com]

Widely acknowledged as the world's largest and preeminent museum exhibition design firmCite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02EFD91531F932A25752C0A962958260|title=New Approach to Museum-Show Design|accessdate=2008-03-19|year=1994-01-11|author=William Grimes|work=The New York Times] Bradford A. McKee, 'What's a Museum: What he says it is. How Ralph Appelbaum built a monopoly in the field of exhibition design. Architecture Magazine, 2002] , Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) has offices in New York City, London and Beijing. Known for its eclectic band of employees and the subsequent interdisciplinary quality of their work, the New York Times reported in 1999 that the firm was composed of "architects, designers, editors, model builders, historians, childhood specialists, one poet, one painter and one astrophysicist." Cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE5D8163AF932A15757C0A96F958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1|title=He Turns the Past Into Stories and the Galleries Fill Up|accessdate=2008-07-08|year=1999-4-21|author=Deborah Soloman|work=The New York Times]

The project the firm is most well known for is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which has been described as a "turning point in museology" and won the President Award for Design Excellence as well as the Federal Design Achievement Award.

The firm was founded in 1978 by Ralph Appelbaum (b. 1942), a graduate of Pratt Institute and former Peace Corps volunteer (in Peru). According Mr. Appelbaum's official biography, " [He] currently directs RAA's undertakings, and retains daily involvement in selected commissions"Cite web|url=http://www.raany.com/html/RalphAppelbaum.html|accessdate=2008-03-19|]

Recent Works

Ralph Appelbaum Associates has recently been in the news for its work at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library (2004), the Museum of the Portuguese Language (2006), Liberty Memorial (National World War I Museum) (2007), the London Transport Museum (2007), and the Newseum (2008).

In 1994, William Grimes noted in the New York Times that RAA only took on non-profit commissions , however their position has changed in recent years as the firm has completed some corporate work, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Corning Museum of Glass. The firm has also worked for companies such as IBM, Intel, Sotheby's, Samsung, and Starbucks.

Ralph Appelbaum Associates, according to recent news reports, is scheduled to open many high-profile exhibits in the next few years, including:
* The United States Capitol Visitor Center, Washington, DC
* The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnepeg
* The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
* The Gates Foundation Visitors Center, Seattle, WA
* Tony Blair Faith Foundation Abraham House Project, London [http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/projects/abraham-house.html]

Design Aesthetic

Appelbaum's work is noted for its recognizance of the challenge that the Amusement Park and other forms of entertainment present the modern museum. Donald Albrecht writes, "Positioning his design expertise within the context of fundraising, public relations and other forms of marketing, Appelbaum acknowledges that today's museums must compete with other forms of leisure entertainment." cite book |last= Albrecht |first= Daniel|title= Design Culture Now |publisher= Princeton University Press|year= 2000| isbn=9781568982151|]


When Appelbaum was awarded the first National Design Award for communications by the Smithsonian, the Cooper-Hewitt commented,Despite the firm's successes in natural history and history museums, they have had a well-known struggle to find art museums willing to commission their work. Notably, Roberta Smith in the New York Times panned work done by the firm at the Whitney Museum for an Edward Hopper show. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE0DD123DF930A15755C0A963958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2 ART REVIEW; Hopper Enlarged: The Father of Giants - New York Times ] ]

Notable Projects

According to a press release from the Newseum, RAA "over the past three decades, [has] completed more than 250 commissions in the fields of social, cultural and natural history at a variety of museums, memorials and heritage projects in more than 50 cities worldwide." [ [http://www.newseum.org/press_info/press_materials/architect/about.aspx?item=raa&style=a Newseum | Press Info | Press Materials | Design and Architecture ] ]
Below are some of their well-known projects that were not listed above:

* National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
* American Museum of Natural History, New York
* American Folk Art Museum, New York
* Edison National Historic Site, West Orange, New Jersey
* National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
* Museum of World Religions (世界宗教博物館), Taipei, Taiwan
* National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland


External links

* [http://www.raany.com Ralph Appelbaum Associates]

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