Kerry Brougher, who for the past five years has been director of the long-in-the-works Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, is exiting the post, the museum’s board said Monday. He has been named Founding Director and will work with the museum’s senior team in the transition to a new director. A search for his replacement is getting underway.
The board said Brougher will be returning to his roots in the art world.
“We thank Kerry for his dedicated service on behalf of the Museum. His work over the last five years on the Museum’s construction and in-depth collections well positions us to move into the next phase of this ambitious project,” the Academy Museum Board said in a statement today. “Kerry’s strong curatorial team will continue to work with us toward the Museum’s opening, and a search for a new Museum Director will begin shortly. Our primary goal remains to create the best possible motion picture museum for visitors.”
The move comes after news in June that the planned opening Academy Museum, most recently announced for fall 2019, was pushed back until some time after next year’s Oscars which are February 9. It was the latest delay for the Los Angeles-based museum, which was announced in 2012 with an opening hoped for 2017.
The site on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue does show considerable progress on the exterior, with the glass dome now visible amidst the active construction. Fundraising for the reportedly $388 million goal continues.
In April, Deborah Horowitz, a top executive at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures with the title of Deputy Director for Creative Content and Programming, also departed.
Brougher was hired in April 2014, with the veteran most recently with the Smithsonian Institution, where he served as interim director and chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Before that he was the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford and curator at MOCA in Los Angeles.
“It has been a privilege for me to work with this Board, our donors, the great Renzo Piano, and all of my colleagues who have participated in creating this unique Museum,” said Brougher in a statement released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “We are just weeks away from completing construction of the buildings, ending the first phase of this project, and our collection has grown substantially. The Miyazaki and Regeneration exhibitions will be the first of their kind. I’m very proud of the work done by our amazing team. Now is the right time for me to pass the baton.”