The Academy Awards

Academy insiders discuss the history of the awards and how the Academy responds to cultural reckonings of today.
MoMA February 21, 2019

Glamour, snubs, surprises, tears, laughter—emotions and stakes run high at the Academy Awards. Now the exclamation point at the end of a long awards season, the Oscars have represented the pinnacle of achievement in the American film industry for over 90 years. The ups and downs the Academy faces in our broad cultural consciousness demand that we take a step back to reexamine what the Academy Awards are and why they still resonate as a symbol of artistic excellence. In this How to See video Rajendra Roy, MoMA’s Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, and Patrick Harrison, the Academy’s director of New York Programs and Member Relations, detail the history of the awards, reveal some of their favorite moments and disappointments from ceremonies past, and examine how the Academy must respond to cultural reckonings of today.