Redesigned Galleries (2001–2011)
In recent years, the Museum has focused on redesigning its galleries and reinstalling its major collections to make them more accessible to the public. Flowing spaces, vivid wall colors, dramatic graphic elements, and multimedia components feature in many of these reconfigured galleries. The Museum reinstalled its galleries of African art in 2001, incorporating videos and large-scale photographs of African ceremonies into the visitor experience. In 2011, the African collection was reinstalled chronologically in order to examine the continent's long history of artistic innovation.
The collections of American painting and sculpture, with significant additions from Spanish colonial and Native American art, were reorganized in 2001 to form the long-term installation American Identities: A New Look within completely reconceived gallery spaces.
The reinstallation of the Egyptian collection, which had begun in 1993 with a new presentation of later Egyptian art in the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery on the third floor of the Schapiro Wing, was completed in 2003 with the opening of the further installation Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, featuring 600 additional works of ancient Egyptian art, many of them shown in a newly renovated east-wing gallery space that had been closed to the public for decades. At the same time, the Hagop Kevorkian Gallery of Ancient Near Eastern Art was renovated and the collection of Assyrian reliefs was reinstalled.