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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Available Light had the pleasure of bringing movie magic to life! After many years in the making, the The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened its doors to the public. Located in Los Angeles, California the institution celebrates over 90 years of cinema excellence with immersive exhibits and programming along with an unparalleled presentation of historic artifacts including film, props, costumes, scripts, posters, photographs, puppets, and much more. The new museum is the largest in North America devoted to exploring films and film culture.

The overriding goals of the exhibition are to engage visitors in appreciating the impact that moviemaking has had on the evolving nature of culture and to focus on key moments of artistic and scientific movie-making innovation. Available Light was tasked with artfully and responsibly lighting over 800 artifacts across 63,000 square feet on four-plus floors of exhibition space. Dramatically lit galleries provide the stage for visitors to engage in the world of the cinema.

As filmmaking is based on light, many environments feature an interplay of light and projection, immersing visitors in a medium they not only perceive but experience. To reflect the high level of artistic achievement, most artifacts were presented in a more “traditional” approach, using desaturated color, and low conservation-mandated light levels. However, due to the entertainment nature of filmmaking, some areas shift to a more colorful and dramatic realm; here the presentation of artifacts and environments are reminiscent of the film’s style rather than as museum objects detached from their original purpose. This approach creates a strong emotional response with longer lasting impact.

The museum honors the past, while exploring new critical perspectives on cinema’s present and future.


Exhibit Designer: WHY Architecture Workshop

Architect: Renzo Piano Workshop


Joshua White
© Academy Museum of Motion Pictures






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