Disney Family to Open Museum in San Francisco
Created 04/06/2009 - 00:00
Walt Disney's only surviving daughter, Diana Disney Miller, and other family members, are working to open a museum focused on the film legend's home life and artistic achievements, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES.
The $112 million museum, called The Walt Disney Family Museum, is set to open in the fall and will be run by the former deputy director of the Harvard University Art Museums, Richard Benefield.
The exhibition will show personal items, like never-before-seen home movies and Disney artifacts, like STEAMBOAT WILLIE animation cels.
Miller, 75, said she was motivated to tell her father's story from a different perspective, something she felt authorized and unauthorized biographies, as well as the Disney company itself, were not offering to the public.
“My kids have literally encountered people who didn’t know that my father was a person,” said Miller. “They think he’s just some kind of corporate logo.”
The museum is financed by the family's foundation and through bond sales and will be located in three historic buildings in the Presidio of San Francisco. Exhibits will be in chronological order with more than 200 video monitors and a 120-seat screening space. A store and a cafe will round out the space.
A maximum of 60 people can be allowed in at a time because of restricted space, allowing for an annual attendance of just 517,000. In an attempt to keep the museum from being a vanity project, the exhibits will show the not-so-great moments as well as the great ones, including Disney's testimony in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 and the animator's strike against him in 1941.
Since the Disney company owns its founder's name and likeness, the Disney family has had to run almost everything by corporate for approval, and they did not comment on the TIMES' story.