Kerry Brougher landed the job as Director for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures earlier this year, and began his role as director July 1st. In a way, it’s a return to the neighborhood for the 61 year old Brougher, who lived in the Mid-Wilshire area on Detroit Street and at Park La Brea in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Prior to his joining the motion picture museum, Brougher held posts as Director of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., Interim Director of the Modern Art Oxford museum in England, and was curator of LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) from 1983-1997.
The Academy Museum will take up residence in the historic May Company building on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax. The design, by Italian architect Renzo Piano, includes a futuristic globe off the north face of the building, dubbed the “spaceship”, that has received both criticism and applause.
LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne called it “an oversized bauble that looks as if it’s just touching down for a short stay” and “trapped in a retro-futuristic limbo.” The New York Times quoted Brougher as saying “It is not a theme park…. [but] is going to present the history and appreciation of motion pictures from the start to the present, and help create the future of cinema.”
The transparent sphere will offer a fantastic view of the Hollywood Hills, and Brougher said the view itself provides conceptual guidance. In its base there will be a film theater, and in the dome overhead they hope to stage “installation-based projects” that will help expand the very definition of film. The rendering below shows a cutaway view of the project and was supplied by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures © Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and Studio Pali Fekete architects, who is no longer involved in the project.
In an interview with the LA Times in June, Brougher spoke to the globe addition as a way to showcase the old and the new:
“…this sphere on the top is an expanded form of cinema that began back in the ’50s and is really picking up now. Film is spilling out of the movie theater. It’s being fragmented and splintered and it’s becoming 100 different kinds of cinema that exist everywhere,” he added, “from your iPhone to Netflix to being projected onto a building and creating liquid architecture, to LED screens in Times Square and Shanghai…. We may be able to do projections or create multi-layered screens, we can commission new work. You’ve got the history of film presented in the conventional way downstairs and then the way film is moving upstairs.”
The museum hopes to begin construction soon with an opening date set for 2017. The Academy has already raised $220 million toward their $300 million goal.
What do you think of the design? Love it or leave it?
New York Times: A Museum Devoted to Movies Is Still Writing Its Own Script
Los Angele Times: Academy Museum’s Kerry Brougher gets to merge interests in art, film.