The Museum


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.

 

Latest press

 

Highlights from the Academy Collection

A great museum starts with an outstanding 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, 146,000 film and video assets, 80,000 screenplays, 46,000 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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The Design

Sub-Level
Ground Floor
Mezzanine Level
Second Floor
Third Floor
Fourth Floor
Fifth Floor

Piano's and 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.



"It is vital for Los Angeles to celebrate and safeguard its architectural heritage, and by pairing the historic May Company Building with modern architecture, both take on new meaning and importance, advancing richness and diversity within the city's cultural landscape."
–Zoltan Pali


"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

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    The Museum on Fairfax Avenue.

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    Entering the Academy Museum from the lacma Campus

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    Entering the Academy Museum's Premiere Theater)

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    The Academy Museum's Special Event Dining Room

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    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.

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    The Academy Museum's Rooftop Terrace

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    Between the new spherical wing and the original building, the architects have created a new "spine" that will move people from floor to floor via elevators, escalators, and stairs.
    This glass structure will bring light into the original building and will share the movement and energy of the Academy Museum with the community.

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The Historic Wilshire May Company Building

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will reimagine 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.

Support the Museum

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)

Special Events

A Conversation with Emma Thompson and a Special Preview of the Academy Museum

Friday, November 15, 2013

A special New York City preview of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, followed by Academy Member Emma Thompson discussing film inspiration with New York Times arts critic Janet Maslin.

 

Gabriel Figueroa Exhibition Preview

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Exhibition preview of Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa–Art and Film for Academy Museum friends and founding supporters.

 

 

Inaugural Celebration

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Academy Museum Inaugural Celebration at the future home of the Museum in the historic Wilshire May Company building in Los Angeles.

 

 

 
©2013 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences