LACMA proposes a merger with MOCA


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Confirming weeks of rumors, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced that the Board of Museum Associates, the nonprofit that operates the county museum, has presented a plan to the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art for a proposed merger with the financially troubled MOCA.

Under the terms of the proposed merger, MOCA’s collection and programs would be exhibited at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary Space in Little Tokyo, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA and at LACMA’s Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, under construction on the LACMA campus. Additional programs are planned for MOCA’s Grand Avenue site.


According to a statement from LACMA, the merger would be constituted among the volunteer not-for-profit boards of both museums and additional private funding sources. It would not involve financial support from Los Angeles County.

LACMA’s ‘strong director and management team already in place’ would be in charge, according to LACMA chairman Andrew Gordon. The goal, said LACMA director Michael Govan, would be ‘the continuation of [MOCA’s] renowned exhibition program and its commitment to living artists.’

The county-supported LACMA, whose $68.2-million budget for 2007-08 is more than triple MOCA’s annual expenses of about $20 million, proposes ‘to preserve the independence and integrity of both institutions while combining thier operations and infrastructure.’

MOCA’s trustees were scheduled to meet today to mull proposals, including a $30-million bailout offer from Eli Broad, for digging out of a financial hole that has deepened throughout this decade.

-- Diane Haithman and Mike Boehm

Caption: The Robert O. Anderson building on the LACMA campus. Credit: Museum Associates