Like Eli Broad, we are life trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, but we have a different version of the museum's history and, more important, a different vision of its future.
Restoring the artistic and curatorial integrity of MOCA is crucial in regaining its respect and prominence. MOCA has not shepherded its finances well; it has overspent and is now paying the price. But bringing down expenditures does not mean bringing down the caliber of its exhibitions as well.
The celebrity-driven program that MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch promotes is not the answer. Committed donors contribute to museums that pursue the highest quality programs under prudent financial management. MOCA needs to get back to its core mission and to the kinds of programs that made it the exemplary contemporary art museum that it once was, namely:
- Mounting a significant exhibition program that interprets recent art history as well as promoting the talented artists of today.
- Highlighting the museum's extraordinary permanent collection in continuous, changing presentations.
- Hiring an experienced curatorial team and a museum staff led by a dedicated professional director.
- Electing trustees who are knowledgeable about not-for-profit institutions and the responsibilities of governing them — in particular art museums — and who believe in MOCA and are willing to invest in its long-term viability.
There is support in the art community for MOCA — not as it is now but for what it once was and what it can be and must, in the future, again become.
Lenore S. Greenberg, Beverly Hills
Betye Burton, Pasadena
Audrey Irmas, Los Angeles
Frederick M. Nicholas, Beverly Hills