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Opinion

Readers React: LACMA’s new building will be the ideal home for L.A.’s most notable works of art

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Alexander Calder’s “Three Quintains” has been at LACMA since the museum opened in 1965.
(Calder Foundation / LACMA)

To the editor: When the Los Angeles County Museum of Art first opened to the public in 1965, the monumental outdoor sculpture “Three Quintains” (commonly known as “Hello Girls”) by my grandfather, Alexander Calder, graced the museum’s campus, where it has been a beloved fixture ever since. The sculpture was conceived to perform a nonobjective ballet in a pool of water, offering visitors a direct experience of art outside the confines of the museum’s walls.

I have always been particularly attached to LACMA thanks to that sculpture.

Great architecture is often controversial, but I have absolute faith that Peter Zumthor’s sublime design for LACMA will be an ideal new home for the museum, not to mention for my grandfather’s sculpture. I applaud the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for recognizing that visionary public buildings may be challenging, but they are worthy of support.

Thank you to the Board of Supervisors for making Zumthor’s building possible.

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Alexander S.C. Rower, New York

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To the editor: I am no judge of architecture, but I am accustomed to buildings staying on their own side of the street, and it would please me no end to have it stay that way. This is not a Howard Johnson restaurant sitting athwart an interstate to provide visual interest to the diners.

It has been said on occasion that museum architects tend to place themselves in competition with the art. The new LACMA building appears to be a case in point. The building is the draw more than its content.

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In almost all museums, one can be with the art in a state of minimal distraction. With the new LACMA, one will be viscerally aware of floating above the bustling city.

Siegfried Othmer, Woodland Hills

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