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Spielberg and Katzenberg each donate $10 million to the Academy Museum

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(Press Release) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences received separate $10 million gifts from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. In recognition of these gifts, the two main galleries on the lobby floor of the Academy Museum will be named for Katzenberg and Spielberg – The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery and The Spielberg Family Gallery.

“Steven and Jeffrey share a passion for moviemaking and philanthropy,” said Academy Museum Campaign Chair Bob Iger. “With these incredibly generous gifts, they are combining the two, moving us closer to our goal of building a museum to preserve the history of motion pictures and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.” The Academy launched the Museum’s $300 million capital campaign in 2012 and has already secured more than half of the campaign’s goal in commitments. The campaign is co-chaired by Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

“I am so pleased to join with Jeffrey to help build this museum to celebrate, educate, and preserve the arts and sciences of motion pictures,” said Spielberg. “Having our family name on the lobby floor is a deeply personal way to say how much motion pictures and the Academy have meant to all our lives.”

“Both Steven and I recognize that film’s global impact deserves a museum that reflects its unequaled heritage and serves as a beacon for the future of what we love,” added Katzenberg. “Marilyn and I appreciate this opportunity to be part of such a significant project.”

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs commented, “Steven and Jeffrey have elevated the art of filmmaking to new heights and have created some of the most beloved films of all time. They continue to be champions of our industry. Having them join us as we build the Academy Museum is an incredible honor. We are so grateful for their support and partnership.”
The lobby of the Academy Museum will be a lively open space that will invite the public to engage in the life of the Museum. The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery and The Spielberg Family Gallery will be the only gallery spaces on the lobby level and will showcase exhibitions that will explore the past, present, and future of moviemaking.

“We are building the world’s premier movie museum, and I cannot imagine doing this without the support of two of our industry’s most inspiring leaders,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “Their gifts will create the first galleries our visitors experience when entering the Museum.”

Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the historic Wilshire May Company building. Slated to open in early 2017, the Academy Museum will contain nearly 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, theaters, screening rooms, education centers, and special event spaces.

8 Comments on this Post

  1. Watermelons

    I look forward to strolling through the AMPAS museum’s The King’s Speech wing in 2017!

  2. I think when people step in such a way, like donors as we see here, however good intentioned it may seem for PR value, it’s dangerous to how film is remembered. Some great films and filmmakers fall through the cracks when there’s preference. But it’ll be quite funny when there’s a special Spielberg wing in the Oscar Museum. How many Best Pictures are there?? How many snubs?? Oh right, we don’t like voting for him, though his movies are always shown on the montages and for music medleys.

  3. Bob Burns

    $300M seems like a lowball budget for this kind of project…. sure to be wildly popular, at least with tourists

  4. Pierre de Plume

    Watermelons, I hope the The King’s Speech wing doesn’t crowd the Kate Winslet Wall. :)

  5. Re: KT. Spielberg has three Oscars (and a Thalberg Award) sitting on his proverbial mantlepiece. You can definitely argue he should have a couple more, but it’s hardly like Spielberg has been lacking in Oscar recognition.

  6. No, I agree with you. I was just pointing out that whenever you have donors, well most often than not, that person has some kind of pull in the museum, the institution, how it displays history or the material. It’s been a huge issue with the still unopened 9/11 Museum in NYC, one example being people upset because they were planning to show the terrorists. But that has to be done. You need a complete picture.

    Now with Spielberg, I know he loves things like this, and I know he cares about his legacy. It will just be deeply ironic if he gets a special section, considering his history with the Academy. We all know who have followed those years (and listened to the podcasts), Jaws, E.T., The Color Purple, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, regardless of how you feel of the movies (and I have been critical of some of them), were passed over and some would say snubbed. Spielberg himself acknowledged he has been screwed.

    It’s the same thing with Scorsese when it comes to preservation, it’s dangerous when so many people listen to you regarding what films should be remembered and revisited. Scorsese has been huge for bringing about a reevaluation of the careers of Powell and Pressburger, the British directors, so that their films now held in much higher esteem by academics and critics, especially when their careers were damaged with a controversial film in the 60s. But what’s important to note is that Powell was married to Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s longtime editor. So yes, powerful people have agendas, and when money and influence are involved, someones others draw the short straw and films are forgotten and drop from the canon.

  7. Watermelons

    Pierre – I’m confident this museum’s importance as a single node in the Worldwide Kate Winslet (Titanic, Flushed Away) Museum Network will not be lessened by an appropriate space in L.A. to remember The King’s Speech! :D

    -Watermelons

  8. I realize that Spielberg desperately wants a 3rd Best Director award, but this seems to reek of desperation to get back in their good graces. Voters beware…

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