Filling a vacancy at the top of one of its most critical ventures, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday that Bill Kramer will take the reins as the new director of the organization’s long-awaited film museum.
Kramer, who served as managing director of development and external relations of the Academy Museum from 2012 to 2016, will become the museum’s new leader beginning Jan. 1 and will oversee the final phase of its completion toward its planned opening some time next year. He steps in for former museum director Kerry Brougher, who unexpectedly exited after five years steering the project to return to his roots in the art world.
“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,” Ron Meyer, chair of the Academy Museum board of trustees and vice chairman of NBCUniversal, said in a statement.
Given the many hurdles the $388-million, Renzo Piano-designed museum at Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard has faced over the years — including cost overruns, fundraising lags, competing visions and numerous delays — the selection of an insider who’s already deeply familiar with its particular challenges likely appealed to those in the organization who are looking for a steady hand.
During his earlier tenure at the Academy Museum, Kramer — who most recently served as vice president of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music — served as the chief planning, public relations, advancement, exhibitions and government relations officer for the museum’s pre-construction phase, raising $250 million for the project’s construction and managing the complex approvals process.
“We are all very enthusiastic about working with Bill again,” Dawn Hudson, the academy’s chief executive, 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... 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 offered in his own 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.”