Advertisement

Readers mourn the new LACMA and see the importance of writers in film and television

Two paintings hang on a wall in a museum, with a bench before them
Two Sam Francis paintings in an exhibition at LACMA.
(Christopher Knight / Los Angeles Times)
Share

Great art doesn’t belong in the basement

I support Christopher Knight’s assessment of LACMA [“An unexceptional contemporary tilt,” May 21], and add this: One purpose of a county-supported museum is to host field trips from schools in every part of the county. We have a model of success in the Museum of Natural History, with a couple of big new shows per year, adding a crown of glamour to a huge offering of old collections.

LACMA has lost its way, burying the old stuff in the basement. An art museum supported by the county ought to be offering displays from cultures around the world, from as far back in history as possible, fostering pride in our diverse cultural richness.

Contemporary art is not a good focus for school field trips. LACMA can do better for kids in our communities.

Advertisement

Ellen Limeres

Reseda

::

Please thank Christopher Knight for reminding LACMA and the community what it means to actually be an encyclopedic museum.

Caron Broidy

Los Angeles

::

Art since the mid-1800s has mostly been about individual self-expression. LACMA has lost a lot of cultural depth, putting its historical collections in storage.

Today’s LACMA is a sad salute to “15 minutes of fame.”

Karl Stull

Reseda

::

The illustration on the Sunday Calendar cover [“LACMA’s Modern Problem,” May 21] is a wonderful introduction to the story within.

Linda Lennon

Los Angeles

::

Thank you to Christopher Knight, for inviting me to mourn with you the pathetic loss of LACMA’s historical art collection.

I once took refuge in the museum from a brutal Santa Ana day, stumbling by accident into the Dutch and Flemish collection. I was instantly cooled. Where are these paintings now?

Historic, global art feeds the soul, and our souls need feeding now. LACMA provided that sustenance once; that is what makes the present lack of nourishment so very painful.

Advertisement

Cabell Smith

Pacific Palisades

::

Christopher Knight nailed it.

Having visited LACMA over the past four decades, it saddens me to see this museum and its collection.

I would look forward to going because at one time I knew I would be spending a whole day there because it was a multilevel labyrinth of paintings, sculpture, crafts, objects from all over the globe.

I would make sure I got to the museum early so I would be able to look at, study or meditate on myriad art objects. Many times, I would get lost in the collections the museum used to offer.

It saddens me that the LACMA I grew up with is no longer there for me to get lost in. For this reason I am discontinuing my membership.

I need to find another place now to get lost in.

John Egan

Ontario

::

Thanks for publishing Christopher Knight’s criticism of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

LACMA used to be my favorite museum. I enjoyed the historical diversity of beautiful art dating back several thousand years to civilizations of ancient Greece, China, Egypt, all the way to modern and contemporary art.

Advertisement

But LACMA now is a desert of ancient art. Knight is right: The museum has swept old beautiful art for modern that often doesn’t deserve the space in a great museum.

In April 2022, I was heartbroken visiting LACMA. I wanted to see Greek art; the museum had put it in its basement.

What a shame.

Evaggelos Vallianatos

Claremont

A world without writers

Regarding the WGA strike: Before the written word, there is nothing. Nothing for directors to direct, nothing for actors to portray, nothing for DPs to shoot, nothing for executives to promote and derive their profits from.

They all wait for someone to fill the void, to start the machine. Not to discredit the efforts of the aforementioned, nor anyone else involved in the sausage-making process that is film, TV or streaming, but it all begins with a story and a script.

That’s where writers come in.

Unfortunately, writers’ work rarely receives appropriate respect, esteem or acknowledgment for the benefits their work provides for so many others. Praise for them seems perfunctory and obligatory.

I’m not a writer; I was part of the sausage-making crew. But I always knew where it started and where my bread was buttered. Perhaps the CEOs of the vertically integrated entertainment conglomerates might pause and reflect that the importance of writers to their livelihood is far more essential than Wall Street and their year-end bonus.

Advertisement

They don’t have to stop buttering their bread, just pay a little more for it.

Buz Wolf

Studio City

Regarding “Dropping f-bombs in support of writers,” [May 15]:

For the sake of civility, the Writers Guild contract should include a requirement that all writers must learn how to write scripts without using obscenities at every turn. In an episode of “The Diplomat” the f-word was used 25 times, the s-word nine and variations four. That means in a typical 43-minute program one epithet about every 70 seconds.

This seems to be a case of lazy writing. Surely the writers can be more creative and less obnoxious. How about requiring a nonexpletive creating writing class. Civil society would be enhanced.

Christopher T. Cross

Danville

Advertisement