Academy Museum Lands Huge Collection of Optical Devices From Before Movies Existed

The Richard Balzer Collection consists of more than 9,000 artifacts dating back to China’s Ming Dynasty

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has acquired one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of optical prints, toys and devices that predate motion pictures, the Academy announced on Tuesday.

The Richard Balzer Collection, which consists of more than 9,000 items related to image display, was assembled over more than 40 years by Balzer, an author, documentary photographer and consulting firm CEO who died in 2017. His collection was donated to the Academy Museum and the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library by his wife, Patricia S. Bellinger, who joined the Academy Museum’s Board of Trustees in early 2020.

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Steve Pond

Steve Pond

Awards Editor • steve@thewrap.com • Twitter: @stevepond