About the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures


Motion pictures are our most populist form of visual art and they captivate us in ways no other art form can. For every generation they are the cultural, social and political diary. They inspire and challenge us to see each other and the world in different and meaningful ways—often crossing ethnic, political, geographic and socioeconomic lines to do so. And yet, in Los Angeles–the moviemaking capital of the world–there is no museum dedicated to preserving, presenting, and celebrating this most influential art form... until now.

The Academy Museum will contain over 290,000 square feet of state-of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, movie theaters, educational areas, and special event spaces. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be the world's premier museum devoted to exploring and curating the history and future of the moving image.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano and innovative contemporary architect Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) campus in the landmarked Wilshire May Company building. The Museum will curate and present the work of Oscar winners and nominees, as well as the legions of global artists who make movies. The Museum will provide interactive, immersive, and engaging exhibitions that will pull back the curtain on moviemaking and highlight the history and future of the arts and sciences of film.

 

Message from the Director

"From the earliest attempts to capture motion on film in the nineteenth century to experiments that took the image beyond the theater screen and into three-dimensional space and now onto every screen imaginable, cinema's progression has been the result of innovation, imagination, and inspiration.

In this spirit, the Academy Museum will seek to be as imaginative and innovative as motion pictures themselves. It will attempt to inspire its visitors with the same sense of wonder and enchantment and encourage new ways of looking at the indelible role the moving image has had on the world around us. In all of its exhibitions, projects, screenings, and programs, the museum will celebrate the rich history of Hollywood and filmmaking worldwide and will take a look behind the screen at the artistry and technological creativity that have made those unforgettable cinematic moments possible.

But the museum will not only look to the past. At its core, filmmaking is a combination of many art forms—theater, literature, photography, painting, music, etc.—and the museum will embrace this interdisciplinary approach by working with groundbreaking artists in all of these fields, as well as with other cultural institutions in Los Angeles and beyond, to help create its future."

–Kerry Brougher, Director, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

 

Academy Museum Staff

Kerry Brougher, Director, Academy Museum
Bill Kramer, Managing Director, Academy Museum and External Relations
Deborah Horowitz, Managing Director, Creative Content
E.J. Alon, Director, Major Gifts
Dawn Mori, Director, Foundation and Government Relations
Jenny Galante, Director, Corporate Partnerships
Ellen Harrington, Director, Exhibitions and Collections
Morgan Kroll, Manager, Public Relations
Christine Rodriguez, Manager, Annual Giving and Special Events
Debbie Peters, Manager, Community Outreach and Government Affairs
Bettina Fisher, Manager, Education
Bernardo Rondeau, Manager, Programming
Alex Yust, Manager, Exhibit Production and Design
Sonja Wong, Registrar
Betsy Jaffe, Major Gifts Officer
Julie Gumpert, Programmer
Maryrose McMahon, Programmer
Lee Nance, Development Coordinator
Chris Roginski, Development Coordinator
Leah Kerr, Collections Coordinator
Joe Gott, Chief Preparator
Mike Gonzalez, Senior Installer
Emma Courtland, Programming Assistant
Elizabeth Iannaci, Box Office Assistant
Dara Jaffe, Assistant to the Director of Exhibitions and Collections
Angela Mayes, Assistant to the Director
Robert Reneau, Programming Assistant
Jen Segal, Assistant to the Managing Director, Academy Museum

 

 

Latest press

 

What the Academy Museum Means For Los Angeles


Celebrating our Hometown Industry

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be a significant and vital addition to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles—a city that has developed alongside the creation of our motion pictures industry. The Academy Museum will be the first in the nation dedicated solely to the art, craft, business, and history of movies on such a large scale. It will celebrate the industry that defines Los Angeles while providing incredible cultural, historical, and entertainment resources to Angelenos and out-of-town visitors alike. Hollywood and the film industry have shaped culture and creativity around the world, and the Museum will explore these contributions through groundbreaking exhibitions and innovative programming.

 

Collaborating with the Academy

From its founding in 1927, with its original 36 members, to its current international roster of more than 6,000 industry artists, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has worked to innovate, celebrate, and promote the magic and craftsmanship of cinema. The Academy Museum will draw from the immense talents and expertise of Academy Members to create a dynamic environment for visitors where the processes, challenges, and creative rewards of moviemaking come alive. From script to screen and every step in between, the storytellers who make movies will share their creative process in a personal, engaging visitor experience that pulls back the curtain on how the magic of the movies is achieved. The Museum will host Academy Members and other moviemaking professionals who will conduct technical demonstrations and master classes on the arts and sciences of film through hands-on activities and behind-the-scenes personal accounts.

 

Creating a Beacon for Cultural Tourism

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be the world's premier film museum and one of Los Angeles's leading cultural institutions. The entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles has more museums and theaters than any city in the U.S. The Academy Museum will join world class museums including the Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in attracting visitors from all over the world. In 2013 Los Angeles had a record 36 million domestic and 6.2 million international visitors. The Academy Museum will provide a much needed destination for cultural tourists looking to celebrate the magic and imagination of Hollywood and the movies. More than 400,000 tourists are expected to visit the Academy Museum each year.

 

Embracing Sustainability, Walkability & Mass Transit

Located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, the LEED-certified Academy Museum will be in the heart of Los Angeles's Museum Row. Academy Museum visitors will be able to enjoy myriad nearby institutions within walking distance, including LACMA, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, Petersen Automotive Museum, A+D Museum, and Craft and Folk Art Museum. Numerous dining, shopping, lodging, and nightlife options are within walking distance or a short bus ride from the Museum. The Museum will also be accessible by bicycle and several Metro bus lines: the 20 and 720 on Wilshire, and 217, 2817, and 780 on Fairfax all stop within half a block of the Museum.

In 2023 Metro's Westside Subway Extension of the Purple line will add a new station at Wilshire and Fairfax, making the Museum easily accessible to thousands of Angelenos.

 

Creating a Home for the Community

The Academy Museum's open piazza will be a dynamic and lively space that welcomes visitors, and seamlessly connects the Museum to the LACMA campus and beyond. The piazza will lead to the Museum lobby, which will invite visitors to explore the Museum store and the full-service café, which will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The store will carry an array of items including limited-edition photographs from the Academy collection, encyclopedic books on moviemaking, and exhibition catalogues. The Museum's slate of lively public programs and demonstrations will provide opportunities for visitors to exchange ideas and dialogue in a dynamic cultural center. The Museum's galleries, theaters, screening rooms, and education center will also serve as engaging spaces for community members to gather, connect, and socialize. In addition, the Museum will have meeting rooms and common spaces that will be available for the community to use.

 

Restoring & Preserving the Wilshire May Company Building

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will reimagine one of Los Angeles' most iconic and important landmarks—the celebrated Wilshire May Company building.

Opened in 1939 and designed by Albert C. Martin and Samuel A. Marx, this landmark was once one of Los Angeles' leading department stores. Its prominent cylindrical gold tower signaled the western entrance to the Miracle Mile shopping district. In 1946, a northern annex, also designed by Martin and Marx, was added to the Wilshire May Company building.


The façade of the original Wilshire May Company building is a perfect example of the Streamline Moderne style of architecture that emerged during the 1930s. This architectural style emphasized aerodynamic elegance, curving forms, long horizontal lines, and the simplifying of Art Deco ornamentation.

The design of Streamline Moderne buildings conveyed movement and innovation and drew inspiration from the industrial, scientific, and technological innovations of the time: modern age transportation modes such as airplanes, trains, and ocean liners, and cost-effective industrial materials like glass, cement, and steel.

In 1992, the original façade of the Wilshire May Company building was designated a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (#566). The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will serve as a vital preservation and adaptive reuse initiative that will restore the façade to its Streamline Moderne splendor.

The Academy has a history of building preservation and adaptive reuse projects.

The Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study, home of the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, is a restored, refurbished and expanded Spanish-Romanesque building that originally housed the City of Beverly Hills Water Treatment Plant No. 1. Built in 1927, the building was abandoned in 1976 when Beverly Hills began to purchase its water from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District. In March of 1988, the City of Beverly Hills accepted a proposal by the Academy that the Waterworks be restored to house the Library and the Academy Film Archive. Work on the 40,000 square-foot building was completed over the next two years, and it reopened in January 1991.

The Academy also restored the former Don Lee Mutual Broadcast Building, the oldest surviving studio building designed for television and radio broadcasting, located in the heart of Hollywood at the corner of Vine and Fountain. Built in 1947 and designed by Claude Beelman and Herman Spacker, the Late Moderne style building was rehabilitated in 2001 by the Academy and is now home to the 286-seat Dunn Theater, and several Academy departments, including the Academy Film Archive, the Science and Technology Council, and the Grants and Nicholl Fellowship programs.

 

Highlights From The Academy Collection

A great museum starts with an outstanding permanent collection. As the world's most prominent curator of moving image history, the Academy has been collecting and preserving movie-related materials since the 1930s.

The Academy's unparalleled permanent collection contains more than 10 million photographs, 165,000 film and video assets, 80,000 screenplays, 50,000 posters, and 20,000 production and costume design drawings. The collection also includes more than 1,400 special collections of film legends such as Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Huston. These special collections contain production files, personal correspondence, clippings, contracts, manuscripts, scrapbooks, storyboards, and more.
Highlights from the Academy's permanent collection, which will help to inspire and shape Academy Museum exhibitions, follow...

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    Joan Crawford

    Joan Crawford models a gown designed by Adrian for Letty Lynton (1932) in this portrait by George Hurrell takenon the set of Grand Hotel

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    Josephine Baker

    Portrait of Josephine Baker, Havana,Cuba, ca. 1951

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    Charles Chaplin

    Coming attraction slide featuring Charles Chaplin, ca. 1915

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    The Circus

    Charles Chaplin in a scene from his 1928 silent film The Circus (preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2002)

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    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Original storyboard art by Akira Kurosawa for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). From the Elmo Williams papers.

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    Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

    Steven Spielberg and George Lucas at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 1984

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    Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

    Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz (1939), acquired by the Academy in 2012

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    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Jack Haley, and production crew during filming of The Wizard of Oz (1939). From the Victor Fleming papers.

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    Bugsy

    Costume design drawing for Bugsy (1991). Illustration by Shawna Leavell Trpcic from a design by Albert Wolsky.

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    Gone with the Wind

    Costume design drawing for Gone with the Wind (1939) by designer Walter Plunkett.

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    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, and others during production on The Dark Knight (2008)

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    2001 : A Space Odyssey

    Edwina Carroll in the spacecraft galley in a scene from 200 : A Space Odyssey (1968)

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    On the Town

    Frank Sinatra, director Stanley Donen, and Gene Kelly during production of On the Town (1949)

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    West Side Story

    Rita Moreno, center, in a scene from West Side Story (1961)

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    Bonnie and Clyde

    Costume design drawing for Bonnie and Clyde (1967). From the Theadora Van Runkle collection.

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    Bonnie and Clyde

    On the set of Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

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    Sunset Blvd.

    Polish movie poster for Sunset Blvd. (1950)

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    Cabaret

    Czechoslovakian movie poster for Cabaret (1972)

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    A Trip to the Moon

    Georges Méliès, ca. 1927, painting an image from his film A Trip to the Moon (1902)

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    The Birds

    Veronica Cartwright, Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, and Alfred Hitchcock during production of The Birds (1963)

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    Alice Gets in Dutch

    Movie poster for Alice Gets in Dutch (1924)

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    Raging Bull

    Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (rear) prepare to shoot a scene for Raging Bull (1980)

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    Giant

    James Dean in a wardrobe test for Giant (1956)

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    Bride of Frankenstein

    Jack Pierce applies makeup to Boris Karloff during production of Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

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    Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe photographed by Murray Garrett, ca. 1953

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    Letter from Marilyn Monroe

    Handwritten letter from Marilyn Monroe to John Huston regarding the film Freud, November 5, 1960. From the John Huston papers.

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    The Duke Is Tops

    Lobby card featuring Lena Horne in The Duke Is Tops (1938), later released as The Bronze Venus

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    Enter the Dragon

    Japanese movie poster for Enter the Dragon (1973). From the Stephen Chin collection.

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    In the Heat of the Night

    Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger (rear) in a scene from In the Heat of the Night (1967)

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    Annie Hall

    Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in a scene from Annie Hall (1977)

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Building

Design


Renzo Piano's and Zoltan Pali's design vision for the Academy Museum will revitalize the historic Wilshire May Company building, weave it back into the fabric of the city, and create a coherent arts campus that seamlessly connects with LACMA. Their design for the Academy Museum fully restores the historical Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades and includes a soaring spherical addition at the northern end of the original building. Designed to represent the marriage of art and technology, the addition will house the Museum's state-of-the-art premiere-sized theater as well as a spectacular roof terrace with expansive views of the city.


"The design for the museum will finally enable this wonderful building to be animated and contribute to the city after sitting underutilized for so long. I am very inspired by the Academy's mission, and the idea of the arts and sciences working together to create films. Our design will preserve the Wilshire May Company building's historic public profile while simultaneously signaling that the building is taking on a new life—a life that celebrates both the industry and art form that this city created and gave to the world."
–Renzo Piano

 

Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

The Academy Museum is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)—a planning document which describes the environmental impacts associated with a project. Areas of study include: traffic, air quality, noise, city services, and land use, among others. The EIR evaluates potential impacts within these study areas. The Museum Project consists of the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the historically significant Wilshire May Company department store building and construction of a new wing that will house a 1000-seat theater. 

There are six basic project Objective Categories (listed below). The EIR studies each objective and will release the conclusions in the final EIR.

  • Design a world-class Museum to showcase the past, present, and future of the motion picture industry
  • Rehabilitate the original building and preserve its historic significance
  • Operate the Museum in a manner that provides opportunities for a range of visitors while meeting Academy administrative and programming needs
  • Create an economically viable and sustainable Museum
  • Locate the Museum on a site uniquely suited for museum uses and accessible to residents and tourists
  • Reinforce connections to the surrounding neighborhood

For questions regarding the EIR, please contact:
EIRcomments@oscars.org or (310) 247-3000.

Support

Building a museum is not unlike making a movie. Both require vision, commitment, collaboration, community, and support. To make the dream of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures a reality, the Academy has launched a $300 million capital campaign led by Bob Iger, Annette Bening, and Tom Hanks.

The Academy acknowledges with deep appreciation and gratitude the following individuals, companies, and foundations for their extraordinary early support.





To join this illustrious group and become a Founding Supporter of the Museum, you may make a donation online (click here), or fill out a Campaign pledge form (click here) and send it via email, fax or mail to:

Bill Kramer
Managing Director, Academy Museum and External Relations
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8949 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
bkramer@oscars.org
310-247-2665 (phone)
310-247-3610 (fax)

Contact

Contact the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

General Inquiries
(310) 247-3000
academymuseum@oscars.org

 

Acquisitions & Collections
museumcollections@oscars.org

 

Mailing address:
Academy Headquarters
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211

Future Home of the Academy Museum (Please send all correspondence to Academy Headquarters)
6067 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

 

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Press & Media
Academy Communications Department
(310) 247-3090
publicity@oscars.org

 

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©2013 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences