Steven Spielberg Donates $10 Million to Academy Museum

East Hampton’s Steven Spielberg has donated $10 million to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Academy Museum of Pictures.

For his contribution, the Academy Museum, slated to open in 2017 in Los Angeles, will name one of two main galleries “The Spielberg Family Gallery” after the director. Said Spielberg in a statement, “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.”

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg also donated $10 million, and the other main gallery will be named “The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery” for him and his wife. According to an Academy statement, the museum’s lobby will be “a lively open space that will invite the public to engage in the life of the museum.” The Katzenberg and Spielberg galleries will be the only gallery spaces on the lobby level and will showcase exhibitions that will explore the past, present, and future of filmmaking.

“Steven and Jeffrey share a passion for moviemaking and philanthropy,” Academy Museum Campaign Chair Bob Iger said, adding, “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.”

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 Academy launched the museum’s $300 million capital campaign in 2012 and they have already secured more than half of the campaign’s goal in commitments. Annette Bening and Hamptons visitor Tom Hanks are the campaign’s co-chairs.

The Academy Museum of Pictures, designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, will be in the historic Wilshire May Company building, next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). It will feature some 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, theaters, screening rooms, education centers, and special event spaces, and is slated to open in early 2017.

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