The young Shirley Temple was Hollywood’s top box-office draw for four consecutive years in the 1930s, and now her estate has made a toe-tapping donation to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Her family has gifted the future facility with more than $5 million and some key artifacts from her early career as the child star who danced, sang and dimpled her way into film lore. The Academy Museum’s education center will be named The Shirley Temple Education Studio.
“Shirley Temple Black captivated audiences as an actor, and her work as a diplomat touched countless lives,” said Bob Iger, who is chairing the Academy Museum’s capital campaign along with co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks. “Her gift to the Academy Museum ensures her work will continue to inspire future generations of film lovers.”
Donated items include the miniature Oscar presented to Temple at the 1934 Academy Awards, the tap shoes and portable wooden practice-steps given to her by legendary dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson for their famed stair dance routine in 1935’s The Little Colonel and the ornate Los Angeles public-school system desk she used for her daily lessons on the Fox lot.
“Our mother believed that the Academy Museum project will provide the key to broader public understanding both of the movie industry’s history and of its future,” the Black family said in a statement.
The museum will be revive the historic Wilshire May Company building at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, with six floors of exhibition spaces, a movie theater and more. It is set to open in spring 2018.