Academy Museum Prepares for Its Grand Opening

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences official photo

Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by Pete Hammond on March 10, 2021.

… officials at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures were busy talking about the past — not only Oscar history, but the whole history of movies — as plans were revealed Wednesday for initial programming for the long-awaited and long-delayed museum, which is now opening to the public September 30 after a gala opening September 25. Among the programs announced [Tuesday] are a series of virtual events and exhibits in the lead-up to the physical debut. …

In answer to a question about how the museum plans to deal with controversies over past artistic content in movies including racism and sexism, Academy Museum director and president Bill Kramer said all of that is incorporated in detail in various sections. Examples will include the casting of The Good Earth, Sacheen Littlefeather’s appearance at the 1973 Oscars to turn down Marlon Brando’s Best Actor Oscar due to treatment of Native Americans in movies, and offensive portrayals in cartoons (think Pepe Le Pew) among many other questionable movie moments that will be highlighted with the intention of having a museum that not only shines a good light on what the history of movies represents, but also not shying away from the negative. That was also emphasized by virtual host Laura Dern as she took us through each of the many galleries and what we will be seeing in person come September. …

Pre-opening programming will kick off on April 22, 2021 with Breaking the Oscars® Ceiling, a conversation hosted by Academy Museum trustee Diane von Furstenberg and moderated by the Academy Museum’s Jacqueline Stewart, who will be speaking with women who achieved historic Oscars milestones. Guests include actor Sophia Loren, actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, actor Marlee Matlin, and singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. …

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Additionally, the museum will present conversations, panels, symposia, and lectures several times a month in our theaters celebrating film artists and film history while also providing learning opportunities to lean into areas of harm, hurt and complexity:

  • Legacy, inviting family members of Hollywood legends to discuss the legacy of film artists and provide first-hand insights into film history.
  • Impact/Reflection, featuring film artists in conversation with scholars and activists about the relationship between documentary and narrative film and topics presented in the museum’s Impact/Reflection galleries in Stories of Cinema, such as #MeToo, pay equity, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and labor relations. …
  • Hayao Miyazaki, linked to the Academy Museum’s first temporary exhibition, Hayao Miyazaki, unpacking themes in his films including environmentalism, female empowerment, post-war society, and Japanese spirituality and culture. …

Deadline Hollywood 3/10

AMPAS Museum site

About Jeffrey Burman 861 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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