Today the New York indie production community gets some top level backing with the announcement that the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria will be adding Sony Pictures Classics Co-President and Co-Founder Michael Barker as co-chair of the museum’s board of trustees.
Barker comes in to his position sharing board responsibilities with Ivan Lustig. Herbert Schlosser, chairman and then co-chairman since 1985, will retire his co-chair position.
Barker is a big deal, bringing some shine to the museum, which sits next door to Kaufman Astoria Studios. (Full disclosure: I worked at the foundation that preceded The American Museum of the Moving Image, which in turn became the current Museum of the Moving Image.)
Barker, who has collaborated with such names as Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, and Louis Malle, will continue on in his position at Sony. He was an exec at United Artists and also co-founded Orion Classics.
The museum, which doesn’t get the recognition it deserves since it doesn’t happen to sit in Manhattan, has got to get its game together if it expects to be a big player acknowledging our moving image heritage. In Los Angeles, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is moving full steam ahead on its plans to inhabit a new building by 2017. The Renzo Piano designed space will house a museum collection that immediately becomes second to none, with motion picture gear, costumes and more that they’ve been accumulating since the 1920s. They aren’t thinking small, already calling it “the world’s leading movie museum”.