Dov Gottesman, the president of the Israel Museum and one of the most renowned Israeli art collectors, died early yesterday morning in his home in New York. He was 82 years old.

Gottesman leaves behind his wife, Rachel, and their three sons − Assaf, Noam and Yoav. He will be interred in Israel; the date of his funeral has yet to be announced.

Hailed as a champion of culture in Israel, Gottesman split his time between New York, London, Geneva and Tel Aviv. In 1996, he was named chairman of the museum’s board of directors. He was also responsible for the institution’s art acquisitions.

In 2001, Gottesman replaced former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek as president of the museum, following Kollek’s death.

“It would be superfluous to describe the centrality of a figure like Dov, both in the museum and in the field of art in Israel,” said museum director James Snyder. “This is a huge loss for us. The only comfort is that he was able to witness the museum’s renewal and his vision for the future come to fruition.”

Snyder said Gottesman had contributed to the museum over the course of two decades.

“He was part of the committee that was responsible for me being appointed director and moving to Israel,” he said. “His generosity was enormous and varied in scope.”