Two Jobs, Not One, Best to Run LACMA
The crisis faced by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art could be better addressed if the two very separate tasks of running the museum were separated into two jobs.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic long ago realized, as have many other cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Opera, that they are both a cultural organization and a major financial organization.
It is unrealistic to expect one person to equally fulfill both jobs, particularly at a time when not only are the financial underpinnings of the cultural world threatened but the entire question of what is art is equally in transition.
The core of an art museum is art. That is the first position that needs to be filled. Get the person best able to lead LACMA into the 21st Century. Get a creative director who can excite the city about art.
Then find the single person best able to run the nuts and bolts of the museum in concert with the creative director--and the person best able to raise funds in tandem with his or her artistic counterpart.
By creating two positions of equal, if differing, authority, it creates two high-profile bully pulpits to campaign for the arts in Los Angeles.
BRADY WESTWATER, Chairman
International Artweek 93
Board Member, ART/LA 93