Tyler's post on MOCA's fate
is the must read art news post of the month. He's right, in my mind MOCA has supplanted The Walker, The Guggenheim and The Whitney as the world's most cutting-edge art museum programmatically. Speaking of cultural mergers, I don't think the Guggenheim is in any position to merge with them as their LA satellite.
Overall, with a dwindling endowment and no recent expansion or capital campaigns one wonders at the strange lack of ambition in LA (a place with no shortages of such). Here's the LA Times on the subject
. I might add more to this later today, but it is uber-odd that such a major institution would be facing such last ditch decisions... of course cultural institutions should raise alarms when they are in trouble but if they look confused it doesn't help. It does help that MOCA's progamming warrants saving.
Christopher Knight's "seething" open letter says quite a bit of what needs to be said
, earlier this year PORT's look at PAM showed the alternative strategy
. The lesson.... endowments protect museums and more specifically, the nature of the endowment (not merely its size) often defines an institution.
The talks of a merger between LACMA and MOCA
also seem terribly strained to me... MOCA losing its excellent collection also clips its wings for any future growth, branding it as a failed experiment. Like Knight stated, the first steps are a staff reduction as a good faith move then they need a bridge loan and a smart capaital campaign. Punting on MOCA is bad for LA, and the entire US... how about a bridge loan from the city rather than a weakened (merged) MOCA?
Jeremy Strick's initial response
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