Stewart, a University of Chicago professor, will be the lead strategist for the museum’s curatorial, educational and public programming initiatives, such as exhibitions, screenings, symposiums, publications, workshops and student programs. She will report to Bill Kramer, the museum’s director and president.
“Jacqueline Stewart is a powerful leader in the film world,” Kramer said. “Her inspiring history of scholarship, teaching, programming, building community partnerships and archival work combined with her dedication to inclusivity and accessibility make her an ideal leader for the museum. With her remarkable ability to engage the public and her commitment to showcasing the diverse and fascinating history of the movies, she will be a vital part of our mission to advance the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema.”
Stewart has taught American film history at the University of Chicago and served as the director of the school’s arts and public life initiative. She’s currently working on the Academy Museum’s curatorial advisor committee for the upcoming “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971” exhibit. Stewart also hosts “Silent Sunday Nights” on Turner Classic Movies.
“As a scholar who researches, teaches, presents, and archives films, I see how cinema shapes our understandings of history and culture, of other people and ourselves, in profound and enduring ways. In my work to create welcoming spaces for people to experience films, I have seen that movies have a unique ability to galvanize dialogue and cultivate empathy,” said Stewart. “I am excited to join the Academy Museum team at this critical moment for the institution, and for our world, to engage visitors and partners in accessible, multifaceted conversations about the history of filmmaking and the impact that cinema has on our lives.”
After being announced in 2012, the Academy Museum is set to open on April 30, 2021, after suffering several delays and budget problems. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos was elected as chairman of the board of trustees last month.