Readers React: LACMA should stick to the art-museum basics

LACMA’s proposed redesign
Peter Zumthor’s proposed redesign for LACMA, facing west.
(©Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner)

To the editor: After reading several articles in The Times last week on plans for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I feel compelled to question Director Michael Govan and others supporting the museum’s ambitious construction plans. (“LACMA, Metro discussing new museum tower on Wilshire Boulevard,” July 9)

All of this talk of expanding the museum by razing four prominent buildings and spreading the museum over Wilshire Boulevard is very ambitious indeed. As I read in another article of the $750 million all this would cost, I was sickened.

When arts education faces cuts or, in some places, elimination, I say a much better use of this money would be to restore these programs to our schools to help ensure that future generations can fill the halls of LACMA and other museums.

After all, shouldn’t this type of partnership be the prominent role of all museums in the 21st century? Don’t just build because you can.


Peter David Harris, Los Angeles


To the editor: Several LACMA buildings are to be torn down and replaced with several new expensive structures after just a few decades of use.

LACMA should instead spend the millions it will raise for this project on purchasing works that people want to see. After all, its primary purpose is to exhibit great art for our edification.


The centuries-old Louvre and century-plus-old Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York won’t be torn down to build an edifice, nor will they buy a big rock and call it art. Instead, they encourage artists to hone their talent and to produce more art for us to enjoy, as LACMA should.

Arline M. Mathews, Chatsworth