As the long-planned $250 million Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts at LACMA comes to fruition–the renovated May Company building designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali is slated to open in 2017–there is an enormous amount of wheeling and dealing and expectation surrounding the eventual museum collection. This past week, one key player to meet at the TCM Film Festival was museum director Kerry Brougher.
Of course the Academy prefers donations to its long-assembled permanent collection, but it does have money to spend, and many Hollywood memorabilia collectors are circling, hoping to land a sale.
So far Disney CEO Robert Iger has wrangled significant donors such as Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Gale Anne Hurd, and others like Leonardo DiCaprio have made possible such key purchases as the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” But the Academy did not step up when Debbie Reynolds was auctioning her astonishing costume collection.
Now the Academy has shelled out $344,000 for the Aries 1B Trans-Lunar Space Shuttle from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” at Premiere Prop’s Hollywood Extravaganza Auction Saturday March 28. See video of the auction below.
Anyone who had the pleasure to see the Kubrick exhibit will know that some props from the movie survived the very secretive Kubrick. One reason why this piece is so valuable is that many artifacts from the movie were too large to be stored for a long time, and according to the catalogue, “virtually all props, sets, models and costumes… were purposely destroyed by Producer-Director Stanley Kubrick so that they could not be used in any other productions. However, a few pieces miraculously escaped destruction, making them astronomically valuable and of massive historical significance.”
This SFX model Pan Am Nuclear Powered Aries 1B Trans-Lunar Spherical Space Shuttle (see video below) transports Dr. Heywood R. Floyd (William Sylvester), from the International Space Station to the Moon to investigate a monolith that was deliberately buried on the crater Clavius by unknown aliens. The model is used in the movie as the spacecraft extends its landing gear and sets down on a platform on the moon as dust billows and it descends underground to the main sub-surface hanger headquarters. The shuttle model came with a detailed Letter of Provenience from the English collector, a local school teacher from Kubrick’s long-time residence of Hertfordshire, England, who originally obtained it in 1975 and stored the Space Shuttle for over 40 years at his personal studio.