The local art community has reacted with both caution and enthusiasm to the idea that collector Count Giuseppe Panza di Buomo is now willing to lend works from his famous holdings in contemporary American art to local institutions.
County Museum of Art Director Earl E. Powell was in Europe and could not be reached, but senior curator Maurice Tuchman confirmed that a meeting between Powell and Panza has been scheduled for next week to discuss prospects for placing works in LACMA's new Anderson Building for modern and contemporary art, currently under construction.
Richard Koshalek, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, said that the idea had "great potential" and was under discussion between the museum staff and trustees. "We know the collection is of the highest quality. Museums all over the world want it, so it is good that Count Panza has a commitment to L.A.," Koshalek said.
"If we decide to take works on loan, the best time would be in about two years, when the building on Bunker Hill is completed. If we are able to extend our lease on the TC (Temporary Contemporary), that would be the ideal place to show it. I suppose that taking a loan would signal an intention to buy, but that idea is way ahead of our present thinking."
Hugh Davies, director of the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, said, "We are contemplating building a new wing here or relocating to a location in metropolitan San Diego. We would be ecstatic at the prospect of having any part of that collection on display in San Diego as well as Los Angeles. We are supposed to have lunch (with Count Panza) and are very eager to meet with him.
"I think that having the work on loan in Southern California would enhance the possibility of it staying here because its presence would create enthusiasm for funding its purchase. I'm also excited about the idea of more than one institution sharing in this legacy."