Today, in a plan first reported by the Los Angeles Times and more extensively discussed by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) CEO and director Michael Govan in a blog post on the museum’s website, LACMA unveiled a proposal to take over the ailing Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (L.A. MOCA). Amidst its recent hardships, L.A. MOCA’s administrators have repeatedly weighed just such an option, but this new plan comes from the much larger LACMA — albeit at the request of MOCA’s leadership.
“Combining LACMA and MOCA would strengthen both,” Govan writes on Unframed. “LACMA’s mission is to share world-class art with the widest array of audiences possible. MOCA’s downtown location, extraordinary collection and devoted constituency, combined with LACMA’s modern art masterpieces, large audiences and broad educational outreach (especially in schools near downtown L.A.) would create a cultural institution that is much more than the sum of its parts. LACMA’s strong leadership, its history of fundraising, and its support from Los Angeles County and other donors will provide MOCA with the stability it deserves.”
Govan goes on to explain why the two museums’ collections — LACMA’s encyclopedic holdings and L.A. MOCA’s formidable contemporary acquisitions — could make for a rich program that would retain some degree of duality, while also serving one of the world’s most fertile contemporary art communities. He concludes: “A combined MOCA and LACMA could make history.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo © 2008 Museum Associates. Image via LACMA/Facebook.)