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23 amazing objects on view at the new Academy Museum

illustrations of the most interesting objects on view at the new Academy Museum
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

What are the most interesting objects on view at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures? We asked more than 20 insiders — museum employees who have been living and breathing with bits of movie history for months, or in some cases years. They shared their favorites, and the picks are fascinating — and as varied as the staffers themselves.


May Queen dress from “Midsommar”
“The vibrant florals remind me of my favorite painting, ‘Spring’ by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, which depicts a spring festival and the gathering of flowers on May Day.”
Adriana Fernandez
Manager, marketing and advertising

Evillene costume from “The Wiz”
“Every time I see it, I notice more details including the oddities and little creatures, the texture of the fabric and the epic crown!”
Amy Homma
Senior director, education and public engagement in the Museum Education department

Illustration of Hayao Miyazaki storyboards
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)
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Hayao Miyazaki storyboards
“I am excited to see the storyboard art for ‘Spirited Away’ in the Miyazaki gallery. It was the first Studio Ghibli movie I saw as a child, and it still moves me to this day.”
Marina Navarro
Operator, security operations center

Illustration of the "Alien" head
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

“Alien” head
“The ‘Alien’ head because someone really special to me introduced me to the ‘Alien’ movies, and because it is pretty creepy, and aesthetically, captures the essence of what we think aliens look like.”
Sara Greenlee
Operator, security operations center

Film montages
“The film history montage in the Spielberg Family Gallery. It’s exciting to see that ‘Minari,’ ‘The Farewell’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ have a place in this museum.”
Dawn Mori
Senior director, foundation and government relations

Illustration of an annotated "To Kill a Mockingbird" script
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

Annotated script from “To Kill a Mockingbird”
“The ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ script with Gregory Peck’s notes. It’s fascinating to see the thought process behind his Oscar-winning performance.”
Bridgette Smith
Senior coordinator to the chief artistic and programming director

“The story behind the strong father-daughter relationship is timeless to me, and the description of the small fictional town of Maycomb ‘filled with oaks’ reminds me of where I grew up in the South.”
Stephanie Samera
Manager, In Gallery programs

Cobblepot Manor model from “Batman Returns”
“It’s so finely detailed, a beautiful example of the craftsmanship needed to put fantastical visions onto the screen before CGI. It is basically the goth dollhouse of my childhood dreams!”
Emily Rauber-Rodriguez
Research assistant

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Illustration of the Mascara Dress
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

Mascara Dress from “The Dolly Sisters”
“I love the Mascara Dress designed by Orry-Kelly from the 20th Century Fox musical ‘The Dolly Sisters’ (1945). I adore Kelly’s surrealist influence from painter Salvador Dalí, especially a matching eyelash fascinator. It’s so theatrical and extravagant with the hand-painted eyeballs and lashes on the gown; I can’t wait for the public to see it up close.”
Caitlin Manocchio
Education department coordinator

Illustration of the "Moonlight" best picture card
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

“Moonlight” Best Picture card from the 2017 Oscars
“It is great to have this item included in the Academy Awards history gallery. It always makes wonder what my most memorable Oscars moment is.”
Manouchka Kelly Labouba
Research assistant

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Illustration on the Aries 1B space shuttle from "2001: A Space Odyssey"
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

Aries 1B from “2001: A Space Odyssey”
“Of course we cherish every item in our collection, and one that means a great deal to me is the beautifully detailed Aries 1B trans-lunar space shuttle from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ Artifacts from this film are very rare, and when we secured this piece, it needed major restoration work. Now fully restored and featured in our opening exhibition, it reminds us of how the artistry of the movies can transport us.”
Bill Kramer
Academy Museum director and president

“Aries 1B has been my favorite. Having the privilege to help install the lights inside of it, I was fascinated to see the ‘backstage’ of the spacecraft and in the process learn so much about the process of model making.”
Omar Madkour
Exhibition lighting technician

Illustration of the Lumiere Cinematographe
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)
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Lumière Cinématographe
“It’s a wonderful piece of early filmmaking technology, being a 35mm camera, printer and projector all in one. It’s beautifully crafted out of wood and brass and is one of the oldest objects on display at the museum.”
Sophie Hunter
Objects conservator

Shirley Temple pieces
“Shirley Temple’s costumes from ‘Little Miss Broadway,’ ‘The Little Colonel’ and ‘The Little Princess.’ As a kid, I used to go to the video store on Friday nights and rent a different Shirley Temple movie each week. When I got to unpack and handle Shirley’s costumes as part of my job, it was like my childhood memories were materializing right in front of me.”
Renée Kiefer
Associate registrar, permanent collections

“I was a huge Shirley Temple fan when I was a little girl. I wanted to be her. Seeing her schoolroom desk brings back so many fond memories.”
Andria Mack
Manager, operations

Illustration of the Dude costume from "The Big Lebowski"
Spot illo for the most interesting objects on view at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, running 9/12/21 in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures special issue. CREDIT: Mikki Paek /For The Times
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)
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The Dude costume from “The Big Lebowski”
“The costume for Jeff Bridges as the Dude. This cult classic is one of my favorite Coen films! We’re right across the street from Johnie’s Coffee Shop where a scene from the movie was filmed.”
Kristina Cucchia
Retail buyer

“It’s thrilling to see this beloved character’s iconic robe in the museum. … After all, the Dude wouldn’t be the Dude without his righteous robe, man.
Haley Yochum
Administrative assistant to the director’s office

Pixar Zoetrope
“I have to say the Pixar ‘Toy Story’ Zoetrope. I find it fascinating how its pre-cinema roots can trace back to today’s animated GIF.”
Allen Fernandez
Manager, digital media

Illustration of the typewriter used to write "Psycho."
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)
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Typewriter used to write “Psycho”
“The typewriter Joe Stefano used to write Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ (1960). The story behind the creation of ‘Psycho’ is a fascinating one, but the typewriter also vividly evokes a whole era of screenwriting in an age before computers.”
Nathalie Morris
Collections curator

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens Sept. 30 as a celebration of Hollywood history, Oscar lore and today’s movie makers. Get a sneak peek.

Concept art for “Bambi”
“My favorite work at the Academy Museum is Tyrus Wong’s environmental concept illustration for the 1942 Disney classic ‘Bambi.’ Composed of pastel on paper, I love this drawing because it encapsulates the beauty of animation and the immense amount of craftsmanship and behind-the-scenes work that goes into developing memorable characters and worlds in animated films.”
Connor Uretsky
Specialist, digital content

Dutch peepshow
“From our expansive pre-cinematic collection, I love the Dutch peepshow view, which captures a dreamy countryside scene at dusk. Between the view’s dimensionality and the painterly rendering of light and shadow, it is easy to see how devices like the peepshow prefigured the birth of cinema.”
Daniel Peretz
Specialist, rights

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Dinosaur Input Device
“Hard to choose, but I’d say the Dinosaur Input Device from ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993). A physical interface that let stop-motion animators develop computer graphics, it sits pretty squarely in the gap between practical and digital visual effects. Few pieces of filmmaking technology encapsulate their changing moment as thoroughly.”
Gary Dauphin
Associate curator, digital presentations

Casting Polaroids
“I’m more than a little partial to the Polaroids of iconic casting director Marion Dougherty. I love seeing the familiar faces of actors early on in their careers, such as a 29-year-old Willem Dafoe and a 24-year-old Salma Hayek.”
Ana Santiago
Assistant curator

illo of a costume from black panther
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

Okoye costume from “Black Panther”
“I’m excited to see so many of the objects in the Inventing Worlds & Characters gallery, but I can’t wait to see the stunning details on ‘Black Panther’s’ Okoye costume in person.”
Lohanne Cook
Public programs specialist

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Backdrop from “North by Northwest”
“The backdrop for ‘North by Northwest’ for its large peek into the art VFX in film, but also for its challenge in representing and filming on Native American sacred sites.”
Eduardo Sanchez
Manager, public programs

Illustration of Gourmand Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal"
(Mikki Paek/For The Times)

Gourmand Skeksis from “The Dark Crystal”
“The Skeksis from ‘The Dark Crystal’ are going to be very cool to see. The sheer size of the puppets will keep visitors exploring it from every angle.”
Miguel Solorio
Manager, annual leadership giving

The Fantascope Discs
“Cats with birds, couple dancing, somersaults and jumping through a hoop. I am awed by the creativity and imagination of the artists and craftspeople creating pre-cinematic movement. All of their amazing work has led to everything we are celebrating here within the museum.”
Barbara Turman
Director, gift planning


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