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Academy Museum Appoints Bill Kramer as New Director

He will begin Jan. 1 as long-delayed museum aims to be completed

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has appointed Bill Kramer as its director, the museum’s Board of Trustees announced Thursday.

Bill Kramer

Academy Museum

Kramer previously served as managing director of development and external relations of the Academy Museum between 2012 and 2016, and will begin his role as the museum’s new leader beginning Jan. 1. He’ll guide the museum’s artistic and cultural vision as it aims to finally finish completion after months and years of delay.

In August, the museum’s previous director, Kerry Brougher, stepped down after news that the museum would be delayed yet again until at least after the 2020 Oscars air in February. He will be given the title of honorary founding director as his team completes the museum.

“The board unanimously welcomes Bill Kramer as the Academy Museum’s new director,” Ron Meyer, chair of the Academy Museum board of trustees and vice chairman of NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Bill’s experience and influence in the worlds of design, culture, and academia, coupled with his institutional knowledge of the museum, position him as an ideal leader to guide the museum to its opening and beyond.”

“We are all very enthusiastic about working with Bill again,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “He was an early leader of this project–a visionary who shepherded the initial design and construction process, and helped define the Academy Museum’s identity. In his recent work at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, he helped execute a ground-breaking expansion of BAM’s visual art program, attracting and connecting with broad and diverse worldwide audiences. We’re confident he will inspire our creative teams and lead the Academy Museum to successful completion.”

“I have a deep connection to the Academy Museum,” Kramer said in a statement. “I am so looking forward to working again with the museum’s creative teams, staff, and partners as we prepare to open the doors of our spectacular campus. As I felt when I helped to launch this project, I am confident that we are building the world’s greatest museum experience dedicated to movies.”

The Academy Museum, which was first announced in 2012 and is being constructed along the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, was originally budgeted at $250 million and set for a 2017 opening. But the project has suffered cost overruns and opening delays, with the unveiling now set for an unspecified date next year.

Last December, Brougher and the Academy announced that the museum’s inaugural special exhibits would include a retrospective on the career of anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and a look at the history of African-American filmmakers from the early 20th century through the Civil Rights era.

During his previous tenure at the Academy Museum, Kramer oversaw production of the museum’s first exhibition, “Hollywood Costume”, which explored costume design in cinematic storytelling, featuring more than 100 iconic movie costumes. The inaugural exhibit welcomed more than 78,000 visitors.

Most recently, Kramer served as vice president of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), where he led a 45-person team tasked with raising private and government funding, overseeing a visual art expansion program and platforming BAM’s growing film program to an international audience.

Before going to BAM, Kramer was vice president of institutional engagement at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Kramer has led capital and comprehensive campaigns for the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and has served in senior business and fundraising positions at the Sundance Institute and the Columbia University School of the Arts.

During his earlier tenure as managing director of development and external relations of the Academy Museum, Kramer served as the chief planning, public relations, advancement, exhibitions and government relations officer for the museum’s pre-construction phase, successfully raising $250 million to move the project into construction and managing the project’s public approvals process.

Deadline first reported the news of Kramer’s appointment.