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Academy Museum appoints Jacqueline Stewart to lead as new director, president

A woman poses for a photograph.
Jacqueline Stewart, the Academy Museum’s chief artistic and programming officer, has been named director and president of the institution.
(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has announced that Jacqueline Stewart, its chief artistic and programming officer, has been named director and president. Stewart will take over for Bill Kramer, who last week was named chief executive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, succeeding Dawn Hudson.

Stewart’s appointment is no surprise. She joined the museum in January 2021 before its opening that year and has steered exhibitions, programming and education. She is a leading film historian, scholar and archivist who taught American film history at the University of Chicago, with a specialty in African American cinema, as well as the first Black host of Turner Classic Movies’ “Silent Sunday Nights,” which spotlights silent films.

Museum Board Chair and Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in the announcement that the board’s decision was unanimous as Stewart was an “ideal choice” for the job.

“A strong and inspiring partner to Bill Kramer throughout the period leading up to our opening,” he said, “she gave indispensable direction to the curatorial program that has been so widely admired. Her assumption of the role of Director and President is a testament to both the intellectual heft of the Academy Museum and its institutional strength.”

In September — the same week the Academy Museum opened to the public — Stewart was named a 2021 MacArthur Foundation fellow. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recognized her for “ensuring that the contributions of overlooked Black filmmakers and communities of spectators have a place in the public imagination.”

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Stewart’s work at the Academy Museum has directly furthered that mission.

“Our ambition in opening the Academy Museum,” she said in Wednesday’s announcement, “was to give Los Angeles and the world an unprecedented institution for understanding and appreciating the history and culture of cinema, in all its artistic glory and all its power to influence and reflect society.”

Kramer expressed great confidence in the choice of Stewart as museum director: “I know the museum will thrive thanks to her rare combination of expertise, creativity, and proven leadership. Like movie fans everywhere, I am so thankful to have her guide the future of the Academy Museum.”

Stewart and Kramer assume their new posts on July 18.


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