ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES IN 2020 UNPRECEDENTED EXPLORATION OF BLACK CINEMA BETWEEN 1900–1970 - AmNews Curtain Raiser

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Friday, December 13, 2019

ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES IN 2020 UNPRECEDENTED EXPLORATION OF BLACK CINEMA BETWEEN 1900–1970




ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES ANNOUNCES ITS INAUGURAL
LONG-TERM EXHIBITION ON THE HISTORY OF MOVIES AND MOVIEMAKING

IN 2020 UNPRECEDENTED EXPLORATION OF BLACK CINEMA BETWEEN 1900–1970
It takes a long time and a lot of donor money to create any museum. Culture is an important part of any civilized society and film has an important space in all of our lives even if we don’t recognize its impact.  It’s taken a long time for our stories, images, and contributions to be acknowledged in the film industry. Many would argue we’ve stepped into this world and have been welcomed with open arms.  That’s not exactly true and some argue that might never be the truth.

None the less our footprints will be a part of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Museum where diversity and inclusion have been carefully observed in their curated exhibits. 


Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,  announced the details of the inaugural exhibitions that will be on view when the Museum opens in late 2019. The first institution of its scope and scale devoted to the past, present, and future of cinema, the Academy Museum will open with a long-term exhibition that explores the evolution of film from its beginnings to its possible futures. Where Dreams Are Made: A Journey Inside the Movies (working title) will occupy two floors of the Museum’s iconic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building—and looks at the development of the art and science of motion pictures. Brougher also announced the institution’s first temporary exhibitions. The Museum will open with Hayao Miyazaki (working title), presented in collaboration with the filmmaker’s Studio Ghibli—the first major exhibition of his work presented in the United States. 

This exhibition will be followed by Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900–1970 (Fall 2020), a groundbreaking exhibition that reveals the important and under-recognized history of African-American filmmakers in the development of American cinema. It will explore African-American representation in the motion picture from its advent to just beyond the Civil Rights era.

Co-curated by Doris Berger and Rhea Combs, Supervisory Curator of Photography and Film at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), it will be the first exhibition of its kind—a research-driven, in-depth look at Black participation in American filmmaking. In addition to offering a critical exploration of Hollywood productions, Regeneration will highlight the work of independent African-American filmmakers and create dialogues with visual artists. The exhibition’s goal is to redefine American film history as it elevates this under-represented aspect of artistic production and presents a more inclusive story. Regeneration is the proud recipient of the Sotheby’s Prize. The Sotheby’s Prize is an annual award that supports and encourages museums to break new ground. The grant aims to recognize curatorial excellence and to facilitate exhibitions that explore overlooked or under-represented areas of art history. The Sotheby’s Prize is awarded by a jury comprising Sir Nicholas Serota, Donna De Salvo, Okwui Enwezor, Connie Butler, Emilie Gordenker, and chaired by Allan Schwartzman


Kerry Brougher said, “We want the Academy Museum to add to the public’s understanding of the evolution of the art and science of filmmaking around the world—to increase appreciation for this great art form and encourage people to examine the role of movies in society. At the same time, we want to bring to life the most important reason of all for caring about the movies—because they’re magic. That’s why we intend to transport our visitors into a world that exists somewhere between reality and illusion. As the experience of watching a movie, a trip to the Museum will be a kind of waking dream in which visitors feel as if they’ve slipped through the screen to see how the magic is created.”

Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said, “It’s been 90 years since the founders of the Academy proposed creating a museum of film in Los Angeles. How thrilling to be able to deliver on that dream. The Museum’s exhibitions are as expansive and imaginative as the movies we love. With its piazza and open spaces, the Museum will be a gathering place for film lovers and will invite people from all over the world to re-experience and deepen our collective love of this art form, accessible to all.”

John Bailey, President of the Academy’s Board of Governors, said, “The Academy Museum is the realization of a long-held Academy dream to preserve movie history and to bring it into the lives of filmmakers, scholars, young people, and the worldwide public. The great resources and dedicated work of the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive provide a foundation for the Museum’s extraordinary installations and changing exhibitions. This Museum, created and supported by working filmmakers, will present the story of the movies in ways beyond what a traditional historical film museum can offer.”

The Museum has set several interpretative goals for its exhibitions and programs: to convey the emotional and imaginative power of film, to offer visitors a look behind the screen into how movies evolved and are made, to explore the impact of cinema on our society and the culture at large, and to ensure film’s legacy as the great art form of our time.


To learn more go to www.academymuseum.org

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