“There are so many people here that I love,” Mr. Lee said, highlighting two in particular, Bill “Dollar Bill” Bradley, the former U.S. senator and New York Knicks player, and Tonya Lewis Lee, the producer and Mr. Lee’s wife. They had celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary the day before.
“Two great days in a row,” Mr. Lee said.
“But I always come after the Knicks,” Ms. Lee said.
The exhibition, “Spike Lee: Creative Sources,” features more than 400 items from the filmmaker’s personal collection, including family photos, art and sports memorabilia.
“He’s a big fan. He’s a big collector, big hoarder,” said Cinqué Lee, Mr. Lee’s brother, an actor and filmmaker.
Upstairs, just past the museum’s American Wing, Mr. Lee rallied friends together — which included Mr. Bradley, Adam Driver, Don Lemon and Robin Roberts — and guided them through the exhibition on the fifth floor.
“When people would come to my office in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, they would always say, ‘It’s just like I’m going into a museum,’” said Mr. Lee, who was wearing a blue Brooklyn Dodgers hat and a Dodgers warm-up jacket. “And the fact is, it was a museum, but it was not for the public.”
As Mr. Lee walked through sections of the exhibition — Black history and culture, Brooklyn, sports, music, photography, cinema history and family — he greeted actors like Giancarlo Esposito and Laurence Fishburne.