The year in the arts in Southern California has seen major institutional and creative accomplishments on the one hand and big controversies and disputes on the other.
In other words, a typical year. The organizations that made headlines in 2014 provided a glimpse into the agonies and ecstasies of creating art under complex circumstances, in a constantly changing cultural landscape.
San Diego Opera: The venerated opera company's surprise announcement in March that it was closing after five decades was met with a public outcry and internal backlash. A bitter struggle saw the ousting of the opera's longtime president, Ian Campbell, and a rebirth of the company, albeit on more modest terms.
Music Center turns 50: The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown L.A. opened five decades ago in 1964, inaugurating what would become the city's largest performing arts institution.
Academy museum: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Kerry Brougher as the new head of its planned movie museum. The appointment was praised by art-world insiders, who cited Brougher's experience at MOCA and the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: In a surprise move, Executive Director Lou Moore departed the organization she helped to build from the ground up. Her resignation, which she blamed on a difference of vision with the board, left the center scrambling just weeks before the opening of its second season.
The Geffen Playhouse: A highly anticipated production of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party" unraveled after a feud between director William Friedkin and actor Steven Berkoff. The production was called off two weeks before the start of preview performances.
Norton Simon Museum: The legal tug of war over the museum's coveted "Adam" and "Eve" paintings came to a head in June when a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals resurrected the case of a descendant of Jacques Goudstikker, a prominent Jewish art dealer in the Netherlands, from whom the works were seized by Nazis.