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The demise of LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Not going to lie, the attached NYR article about the current state of affairs at LACMA is long and dense, but it’s also one of the best coverages of what has been going on at the museum. I will say for me it’s heart breaking to hear all of this. Yes, it was a deeply flawed museum when it came to its architecture and design, but the obliteration of a majority of its campus in favor of such a flawed and expensive plan seem criminal.

This is a great collection and it deserves a great home, it’s inconceivable that it has progressed this far without major oversight. I would love to hear comments and thoughts about this, especially anyone with inside information. And since collections are in storage for who knows how many long years in the foreseeable future and even once open it will only be able to show a fraction of what is owned feel free to post favorites that will be missed.

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by Anonymousreply 121November 5, 2021 3:28 PM

[quote][bold]Govan’s desire to build a monument—and not the museum’s program, not its functions, certainly not its collections—set the agenda for this project. The collections have been the soul and backbone of LACMA and would be the envy of most museums[/bold], but the impulse behind the architectural effort, the unstated subconscious of the project, was more fundamentally to sensationalize the design into a spectacle. Size mattered. Zumthor bloated the building gratuitously, stretching it from one side of Wilshire to the other[bold] despite shrinking the total gallery space itself.[/bold] In place of the promised quality, Govan has played up quantity, and even then, only its appearance. Making it look bigger made it dominate.

An absolute tragedy for the City of Los Angeles. The state government should step in just as they are doing to Hollywood. The arts are part of the enrichment of our culture and should not been taken for granted. Can't they built an extension or share the collection with some of the other upcoming museums being built ? The Lucas Museum seems like it will be a grandaddy of a structure.

by Anonymousreply 1October 3, 2020 5:13 AM

This is very typically American. Museums are infected with the "growth" motivation of business, which is totally inappropriate for their objectives, to maintain a collection and encourage education.

by Anonymousreply 2October 3, 2020 5:26 AM

OMG The current deluded preening director looks like a manic Lenny Bernstein.

He describes himself as a 'post-structuralist'. In other words— he hates structure and loves demolition.

by Anonymousreply 3October 3, 2020 5:31 AM

Clearly, the director is a poor choice for the collection, and the architect is a poor choice for the building. But ultimately, the Director serves at the pleasure of the LA County Board of Supervisors, which is accountable for the sad mess LACMA has become. Incredibly short-sighted, and completely lacking in responsible, and respectable, vision.

by Anonymousreply 4October 3, 2020 5:46 AM

I read it more as the story of a Museum director with way too much power and too little oversight. Because he's so dismissive of what an art museum should be, he wants to destroy it and replace it with an architectural monstrosity that will be his legacy. His criticism of the Western art museum as too Euro-centric seems like a tacked excuse for blowing up LACMA.

by Anonymousreply 5October 3, 2020 5:51 AM

He wants the new museum to be Woke and resemble a group of 'Native American' tee-pees.

by Anonymousreply 6October 3, 2020 5:58 AM

A Philip Guston show was cancelled because it might scare people.

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by Anonymousreply 7October 3, 2020 6:25 AM

^ I hate that expression in the article. The exhibition was delayed by "the emergence of worldwide conversations about racial justice".

Such hysteria!

by Anonymousreply 8October 3, 2020 6:37 AM

That museum always felt like a half-abandoned mall.

by Anonymousreply 9October 3, 2020 7:18 AM

It’s an idiotic plan but LA deserves it if there were no checks and balances to stop it,

by Anonymousreply 10October 3, 2020 11:05 AM

This isn't the first instance of major art institutions being used as monuments to ego, and it isn't limited to America.

As for going populist, I recommend a review of what happened to the Brooklyn Museum of Art when it tried to go populist, and did exhibitions of Star Wars illustrations whilst taking down from its walls examples of a truly exceptional collection of works by Old Masters, Impressionists, etc., in an attempt to drag in young people - who came to see the Star Wars exhibition and never came back when the "other" works were put back on the walls.

You know who else didn't come back? The loyal, long-time patrons of the Museum who supported it because of its wonderful collection, disgusted at the pandering, and outraged at the Museum's efforts to turn itself into a "community center" rather than a steward of one of America's finest art collections.

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by Anonymousreply 11October 3, 2020 2:28 PM

Le Bump!

by Anonymousreply 12October 3, 2020 2:42 PM


by Anonymousreply 13October 3, 2020 6:23 PM

Why on earth is the project so expensive? The proposed building does not look like a $750 million building. And $125 million coming from public money - could be better spent at the best of times, but especially now.

[quote]Stripped of functions, the design even exiles the library, administrative, and curatorial offices to a high-rise building across the street, at $5 million a year in rent, adding dysfunction and expense to the issue of shrinkage.


by Anonymousreply 14October 3, 2020 6:47 PM

Talk about form over function. What a waste.

by Anonymousreply 15October 4, 2020 8:59 AM

Did they even get proactive and send exhibits of various collections on world tour to both raise funds and cut down on storage fees for the next 3 or 4 years that it’s going to take to build this monstrosity? And they must have had to build special facilities to hold all this art in safe climate and environmentally controlled warehouses and lease space for the curators and staff in the mean time. They should have started with building that administrative tower first just to house all of those services before they even did one day of demolition.

Has there ever been this level of wholesale destruction of a cultural institution before and with such a shaky transition plan? And if I remember didn’t they surrender the May Store building to the Academy Museum, so they don’t have that space either? And why didn’t they wait until that museum opened to ensure a continual flow of cultural audiences to the area and support the local business that depend on that traffic? Really multiple board member, museum administrator and county officials should be losing their positions over this. How is this not one of the greatest public private partnership scandals ever known?

by Anonymousreply 16October 4, 2020 9:16 AM

You give money. You endow a wing or a building. Then a few decades later it gets razed to the ground. What you endowed disappears. Is this fair I ask you.

by Anonymousreply 17October 4, 2020 9:23 AM

90% of architects are egomaniacs.

They shouldn't be allowed near taxpayers' money. Especially if they've got wacky ideas like this one—

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by Anonymousreply 18October 4, 2020 9:35 AM

The Wilshire Boulevard site was flawed enough that it would have behooved the leadership to use this as an excuse to relocate it to a new site, the successful cultural center at the north end of downtown, allowing Hancock Park to return to much needed greenspace and maybe used for outdoor sculpture. The Museum’s current redevelopment plan is the direct result of its inferiority complex, both as a Los Angeles museum and as the “ugly stepsister” of the Getty. It can never compete with the Getty campus so it should not try, but unfortunately that’s what appears to have transpired.

by Anonymousreply 19October 4, 2020 10:46 AM

R16 Yes, the May store went to the Academy Museum for around $35 million.

The article says the director pushing this ridiculous project appointed most of the board members. I'm just wondering how long before it turns out the offices they'll be renting are part-owned by him.

by Anonymousreply 20October 4, 2020 11:13 AM

Here’s a well done timeline of LACMA from its early days on the new Wiltshire site up to 2015 that ends with the hope and promise of the new building. It interesting that despite its continual expansion, the top attendance dates to the 1970’s and the exhibition of the Treasures of King Tut. There were also multiple upsets and dismissing of Directors over time including its first one a year after opening. So they’ve never been afraid to get rid of them before for problems they generated or inherited, so Govan must hold some kind of magic or power over them all to retain his leadership.

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by Anonymousreply 21October 4, 2020 11:33 AM

[quote]You give money. You endow a wing or a building. Then a few decades later it gets razed to the ground. What you endowed disappears. Is this fair I ask you.

Good luck with that. Donors have very big egos and museums are hungry enough to make promises they should know that they won't keep whether of choice or necessity—and they will always cloak a choice as a necessity. It's an enormously difficult thing to set up a perpetual motion machine that keep your name alive years, decades, centuries after you're dead. The more successful instances usually turn not around a static collection but around the gift of money for an idea and/or a building, with money to fuel the project in the long-term.

Donors should be reasonable in their expectations and museums should be reasonable in their promises as guardians of collections and ideas, but this is a marriage that often sets out on the wrong foot as the once happy pair go separate ways. Micromanaging from the grave is a recipe for disaster, and the inability of museums to find a way to respect their donors and their mission over time is not always a smooth road. Flexibility, latitude, and lots of cash carefully spent are the keys, but even then it's still a crystal ball.

by Anonymousreply 22October 4, 2020 11:34 AM

LACMA was a big messy conglomeration of buildings--just like LA itself. I always said: LEAVE IT ALONE. But no one listens to me.

by Anonymousreply 23October 4, 2020 1:52 PM

I read both articles posted above; thanks to OP and the other poster for sharing them. While it's a tragedy that the original museum buildings were torn down--and that the new design selected is horrifically inappropriate for an art museum--this is LA we're speaking of. Older buildings get torn down all the time to make way for skyscrapers and newer, taller, shinier glass condo buildings. Similar to Vegas (where I live)...we can all bitch all we want to online about older buildings getting torn down, but there comes a point where petitions need to be signed, demonstrations need to be staged, etc. Granted, they may do no good...as in the case of the old Ambassador Hotel, where Diane Keaton and others protested to no avail. But trying, and putting forth the effort, unites people.

A poor comparison, but here in Vegas we just had the oldest, operating wedding chapel torn down overnight early Saturday morning. I had just driven past it a couple of days earlier whilst helping a friend move. I'll attach the link...it's very sad because the place was 80 years old.

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by Anonymousreply 24October 4, 2020 4:16 PM

R24 Ugh, that sucks! Did I see though that they saved a chapel or a hotel lobby at the neon museum? It’s to bad that the chapel couldn’t have been moved there, the lot looks like it was small enough of a building that it could have been facilitated.

by Anonymousreply 25October 4, 2020 4:26 PM

The old Hammer buildings were like a time machine into 1968 - I loved it but they needed to be replaced.

The original design for the site had the galleries seemingly floating over shallow reflecting pools but the tar from the La Brea tar pits kept seeping into the fountains so they were torn down - I would have loved to walk around the site as it was originally designed, it must have been magical.

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by Anonymousreply 26October 4, 2020 4:38 PM

R26 The original images totally give me Dorothy Chandler Pavilion vibes. Same architect or unified city civic design at the time?

by Anonymousreply 27October 4, 2020 4:46 PM

R25, yes, the Neon Museum here in Vegas paid to relocate the old La Concha motel lobby to be their visitors' center for tours. It's sad that a motel lobby can be relocated and saved, but museums are being torn down.

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by Anonymousreply 28October 4, 2020 4:53 PM

R28 Oh nice, they actually use it as part of their logo! I assume the museum has been one of the strongest sources of preservation in Las Vegas, if only from a salvage stand point. But it’s creating a community that can hopefully rally around some of those issues and effect change.

by Anonymousreply 29October 4, 2020 4:58 PM

The museum is going from three acres of floor space down to a half acre, sounds like a really terrible decision for a collection that aims to be encyclopedic.

by Anonymousreply 30October 4, 2020 5:50 PM

IIRC the new plan also exposed too much sunlight into the gallery which is damaging to the artwork. I don’t know if they adjusted that in the plans yet

by Anonymousreply 31October 4, 2020 5:57 PM

I'm so angry about this. I loved the Lacma. Yes it wasn't the Getty, but it was wonderful. When I was a teen, I used to get on the Metro by myself to the Lacma when I was a teen and stay there all day, immersed in symmetry. I wish I could slap Govan viciously, that narcissistic piece of human trash.

by Anonymousreply 32October 4, 2020 6:11 PM

[quote]His criticism of the Western art museum as too Euro-centric seems like a tacked excuse for blowing up LACMA.

Everyone hates white Europeans now, so people just accepted that as a viable reason to tear down the Lacma. It definitely seems like an excuse though.

[quote]Why on earth is the project so expensive? The proposed building does not look like a $750 million building. And $125 million coming from public money - could be better spent at the best of times, but especially now.

Maybe it's all just a money-laundering scheme. People are getting away with murder financially during the Covid era.

by Anonymousreply 33October 4, 2020 6:15 PM

If the museum was too Eurocentric, why did he choose a European architect?

by Anonymousreply 34October 4, 2020 6:16 PM

The thing about this new building is that it’s really a giant biomorphic sculpture. There doesn’t look to be a standard building material that could be used on any surface inch of the exterior. It would literally need to be completely handcrafted by very specialized workers. This so ironic coming from the city that has one of the greatest Case Study Houses by Ray and Charles Eames. The whole idea of their creation was using standardized construction components to create dynamic engaging design, which was highly cost effective.

Look how fresh and contemporary it looks even though it’s 70 years old! This would have been such a better inspiration for the architect to take rather than the tar pond. I could maybe see the La Brea tar pits museum taking inspiration for a museum design like that, but no real justification for LACMA to do that. In fact the current tar pits museum and the last Piano pavilion have the subtle feel of being like the Case Study House and if the new complex used that as a jumping off point there would have been the feeling of a unified whole. The a Japanese Pavilion even has a biomorphic feel of it that would mix well with it as well.

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by Anonymousreply 35October 4, 2020 6:35 PM

Why don’t they just make the floating platform bilevel to double the gallery space?

I mean, duh.

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by Anonymousreply 36October 4, 2020 6:46 PM

The original Zumthor design which was clad in black to mirror the tar pits was at least humorous and it didn’t bulge out over Wilshire like a hospital annex.

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by Anonymousreply 37October 4, 2020 6:51 PM

I love it when people talk about the Getty Center as some kind of standard....it's a horrible white eye sore, 4th rate Richard Meier modernism. I laughed and laughed when Frank Gehry's Disney Hall opened at the same time and stole all the Getty's thunder.

by Anonymousreply 38October 4, 2020 7:15 PM

The Getty is magnificent. The best thing in Los Angeles and maybe the best complex of its kind in the United States.

by Anonymousreply 39October 4, 2020 7:18 PM

R38 eats old people's excrement.

by Anonymousreply 40October 4, 2020 7:22 PM

The Getty is mostly about its site which is magnificent. At least it looks less like a Meier cliche than the High in Atlanta. I'd love to hear if LA County was ever in the running to get any of the collections that now have their own museums. LACMA has long been known to have made mistakes and to have more of its share of fakes, which make me wonder if management has been a long-term problem.

The Hammer building looks like a department store at an upscale mall and it looks like it would be difficult to obscure, which seems to be what a number of large museums of done through expansions that basically cover-over bland or ugly 1960s or 70s additions.

by Anonymousreply 41October 4, 2020 7:31 PM

R34 'Self-Hate' and 'White-Guilt' are now fashionable.

R37 Those models look frightful. A building is not supposed to be 'humorous'!

by Anonymousreply 42October 4, 2020 9:43 PM

[quote]Why don’t they just make the floating platform bilevel to double the gallery space?

It was meant to, but they cut it down to save money.

[quote]There doesn’t look to be a standard building material that could be used on any surface inch of the exterior.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not.

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by Anonymousreply 43October 4, 2020 10:07 PM

WOW, Govan responds and the author pulls out all the receipts in this follow up to the original posted article from the New York Review of Books. It’s very interesting that this is playing out in this periodical and not Art Forum or some other arts or museum related publication or the LA Times or NY Times. It has a very David vs. Goliath quality to it, but it obviously struck a nerve that Govan could not let slide although it’s actually looking like more damage is being done to LACMA’s justifications in the follow up responses with more clarification and backing up regarding points from the article.

It’s kind of ironic that LA has the Contemporary Art Museum, Hammer and Broad, all museums that might be better suited to Govan’s philosophy and background, yet the museum he actually heads is the one he’s forcing these ideas upon and eviscerating in the process. I’m still aghast that’s he managed to obliterate all these buildings and charge forward without any internal stop gaps happening.

I still can not figure out how the Japanese pavilion survived when all the others went. Whoever was able to save that space needs to step forward as a rival and leader to rally and get a consensus about forcing Govan out, freezing moving forward on the current plan and developing solution that saves this institution. Meanwhile most of the collection will languish in storage for the better part of a generation I fear and be a loss for LA, California and the world. I’m really shocked that he hasn’t started selling off things at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, while the limited window is open to do that as the Brooklyn Museum has done. Maybe if he does that it will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

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by Anonymousreply 44October 24, 2020 1:28 AM

The National Gallery of Australia was foolishly designed in 1982 under the influence of Le Corbusier's Late Brutalist style. Everyone hated it.

People couldn't find the front door. The interior was a couple of massive 3-storey rooms and odd little passageways.

They recently had to build a massive facade to cover its ugliness.

by Anonymousreply 45October 24, 2020 1:37 AM

Jesus. I am so sick of art speak, but I got through the article and agree with most of it. Why not just have a neutral space for the art to speak for itself.

by Anonymousreply 46October 24, 2020 4:59 AM

^ Exactly!

by Anonymousreply 47October 24, 2020 5:13 AM

It’s not like they didn’t have Renzo Piano working on the campus already, the most celebrated museum designer of the last 25 years.

by Anonymousreply 48October 24, 2020 5:17 AM

So they rebranded circulation space as "meander galleries" and still are looking at a reduction in gallery space? Govan's reply was embarrassing to read, the way he avoided giving a direct comparison of numbers and instead waffled on says everything about how indefensible this plan is.

Building squat concrete buildings which bridge across major roadways - are we back in the 60s?

by Anonymousreply 49October 24, 2020 11:04 AM

'Concrete which bridges across major roadways' reminds me of The Diversity Bridge

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by Anonymousreply 50October 24, 2020 11:32 AM

This is a place that can't build high-speed rail for less than a billion dollars a mile. What makes you think anyone with any common sense is involved in this project?

California is run by people whose only goal is to build colossal monuments to failed ideas. And if they can't find an appropriate idea, themselves. They are the Bourbons of the modern age, without that taste or historical sensibilities, but with all the self-awareness (i.e. none) of the Bourbons.

by Anonymousreply 51October 24, 2020 12:16 PM

Throw Govan into the Tar Pits.

by Anonymousreply 52October 24, 2020 12:17 PM

Was Bob Hope an art collector? He never struck me as that sophisticated of a man, though I know he had good taste in architecture. Just can’t imagine him on the level of an Alan Funt or Vincent Price.

by Anonymousreply 53October 24, 2020 4:20 PM

"LACMA was a big messy conglomeration of buildings--just like LA itself. I always said: LEAVE IT ALONE."

I agree, I LIKE the fact that you can see how the museum has grown and diversified its interest over the years! I LIKE the varied spaces and add-on buildings, and the fact that the La Brea Tar Pits and its tacky sculptures and paleontology museum are out the back door. Like someone said above it'll never beat the Getty for glamour, but there's a charm in the eccentric setting that you aren't getting from the Getty.

Use that money to pay the rent of Angelenos who've lost their jobs to the pandemic, and leave the LACMA alone.

by Anonymousreply 54October 24, 2020 4:30 PM

I need to do a reality check with you people. 1. You can’t compare the Getty Center with LACMA, two different sites, two different museums. 2. It’s a relief that they tore those buildings down. Anyone that actually visited LACMA RECENTLY, would understand why. The Hardy Holzman building was horrible, with the yellowing translucent kal-wall or whatever that stuff was...that nasty building material shoved down everyone’s throat in the 80s and 90s. 3. I wish the weird ass Japanese art building was torn down as well. 4. I really liked the black version of the building, but going to have some patience. Zumthor is a great architect, I’m confident that this building won’t be an exception.

by Anonymousreply 55October 24, 2020 4:39 PM

Really, I can’t understand why the collections aren’t going on world tour for the next three years or so to generate some good will and much needed income. It may be the only chance one gets to see these remarkable artworks in the next decade or ever if the current plan actually goes through. Museums during renovation or new master plans have done this for decades and now since COVID-19 the special exhibitions schedule has blown up at all museums and the complicated schedule and process of borrowing individual pieces is thrown off and more complicated than ever.

There could be five to ten exhibits of Highlights from LACMA’s Southeast Asian Collections and so on and so forth circulating in a dedicated gallery at such places as the Met and other major museums throughout the world and providing easily assembled and crowd pleasing exhibits. This could then give time to help repair and reset the special exhibitions schedule in the interim. A win win situation for all and saving potentially millions in storage and conservation needs for LACMA.

Really have the current state and status of the collections been even mentioned in this post destruction of the campus buildings? There must have been a whole full scale evacuation on a wartime level going on at LACMA during quarantine. Even in the darkness of night this wasn’t noticed and reported on? Where are they now, I hope that is the next focus for the NYR and it’s tenacious examination of this fleecing.

by Anonymousreply 56October 24, 2020 4:58 PM

Imagine declaring you're going to give everyone a reality check, and then the only reason you give for spending three quarters of a billion is Kalwall.

by Anonymousreply 57October 24, 2020 4:58 PM

Another Getty is a masterpiece believer here. It is one of the most elegant spaces I have ever been in that is a museum. The interplay of the forms and the plaza with the surface textures is perfection. Look at the latest models of the new museum from the imbecile architect for the LA fiasco. Like all architects, he can't even have the modeler put actual art pieces in the space. He just drops in some, but then there are just blank walls everywhere. It is a complete shit building. The addition to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is a superior design to this (before shithead architect remodel) which was a perfect balance of glass, outdoor arcades and brutalism by Gordon Bunshaft's firm.

This shit pile LA is building will be laughed at for many years as an expensive and talentless garbage pile gallery Apple rip-off.

by Anonymousreply 58October 24, 2020 5:26 PM

Sorry, got my Brutalist architects mixed up. Not Bunshaft, Shepley Bullfinch Richardson and Abbott for Walters.

by Anonymousreply 59October 24, 2020 5:32 PM

Oh, sorry, “Kalwall”. Sounds like someone was a Kalwall sales rep. “Look at this space age material!”

Another reality check: No one on Datalounge is qualified to say what makes a good museum or bad museum, especially one in L.A....Lez be honest, the last time you were in LA was 2002, on business, and the Abbey was freshly remodeled and cool.

by Anonymousreply 60October 24, 2020 5:48 PM

R60 And still, you're no closer to any kind of coherent point. If it so desperately needs replacing, tell us why.

by Anonymousreply 61October 24, 2020 5:53 PM

The Getty did have the advantage of a pristine site, a single architect and the funds to be built all at once and not piecemeal over time where it might have fallen out of favor or never been completed to its true vision. The wrestling away from Meier of the gardens and landscaping to Irwin was also a stoke of luck that has greatly benefited the campus and elevated it to higher levels.

Another museum that overcame adapting multiple structures into a unified whole is the Morgan Library in NYC done by Piano, again an architect that LACMA already had on retainer. It’s not perfect, but the Morgan has a wonderful collection of eclectic spaces that don’t delete its history, but celebrates it and provides a workable flow and continued excitement upon entering different galleries that has not diminished over time or visits to them.

Hell, the Ren Koolhaas design had all the playfulness that this new design supposedly seems to be trying to have and the cache of European intellectualism and sophistication that is also missing in the current proposal. How the hell did that one get cut off at the knees, yet this one steamrolls forward in the face of all of its flaws? Did Govan systematically eliminate and brow beat all those who went against him in that design to stack the deck completely on his side when he launched this new proposal? I get the sense that Govan has spent the last decade and a half playing Machiavellian politics rather than anything tied to the arts and connoisseurship of the collections and the artistic vision of the museum.

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by Anonymousreply 62October 24, 2020 5:54 PM

[quote]Did Govan systematically eliminate and brow beat all those who went against him in that design to stack the deck completely on his side when he launched this new proposal? I get the sense that Govan has spent the last decade and a half playing Machiavellian politics rather than anything tied to the arts and connoisseurship of the collections and the artistic vision of the museum.

Do you think he'd still have a job if he didn't?

by Anonymousreply 63October 24, 2020 6:00 PM

Another great thing about Zumthor is that he’s not exposing himself to females, unlike Meier.

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by Anonymousreply 64October 24, 2020 6:01 PM

When or class took a field trip to the LACMA in the 1970s, there was lettering on one wall that said, "Bob and Dolores Hope Wing." So maybe they donated money, but not art.

Bob Hope attended the opening of LACMA in 1965 and is quoted as calling it “The most magnificent tax deduction I’ve ever seen.”

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by Anonymousreply 65October 24, 2020 6:06 PM

R65 Do you remember what you wore?

by Anonymousreply 66October 24, 2020 6:09 PM

Piano didn't do such a great job with the HIgh, but he had a client that had objectives that made no sense (building space for traveling shows they weren't raising money to support) but he did keep the expansion compatible with the generically Richard Meier original space. The Morgan is still a bit awkward---I was there last year.

Rafael Vinoy has been able to reshape exiting spaces and did a great job with the Cleveland Museum bringing together 3 buildings with new spaces--he managed to hide the bland 1958 expansion and tone down the impact of the showy Breuer building from the 70s.

The real beauty of the Getty is its site. The building isn't very interesting but that probably helps show off the Medieval stuff well.

by Anonymousreply 67October 24, 2020 7:24 PM

It’s odd that no one has mentioned the Broad yet, probably because no one here has been to L.A. recently.

by Anonymousreply 68October 24, 2020 8:05 PM

R66, this. I had to sit in the back of the bus with the long row of seats.

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by Anonymousreply 69October 24, 2020 8:16 PM

R68 Except it has been mentioned. But keep up your insults rather than lay out any rational argument for the need to demolish, it really just shows us that you have nothing useful to say.

by Anonymousreply 70October 24, 2020 8:17 PM

Some of you go on and on for paragraphs with useless information, missed it because I was bored out of my mind. All I hear is white noise, blah blah blah.

by Anonymousreply 71October 24, 2020 9:26 PM

I was in LA shortly after the Broad opened but didn't have to time to go there even though I was staying in Westwood, so no mention.

by Anonymousreply 72October 24, 2020 9:26 PM

LACMA apparently is one of the few museums that remains closed.

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by Anonymousreply 73October 24, 2020 9:32 PM

Staying in Westwood? Ew. Why?

by Anonymousreply 74October 24, 2020 9:34 PM

Meeting at UCLA

by Anonymousreply 75October 24, 2020 9:48 PM

Sounds boring, so sorry you couldn’t enjoy your stay.

by Anonymousreply 76October 24, 2020 10:13 PM

I am not an architecture specialist but as a historian I can understand concerns about "encyclopedic" collections. The project of collecting and categorizing stuff the world over is part of European and Japanese colonialism and deserves critique. That's not a knee-jerk "woke" statement. This kind of thing has been discussed for fifty years. I got the feeling from the article that the director might ultimately be trying to address those concerns, and that the author of the article fundamentally disagreed that there is a problem with encyclopedic collections. I am not defending Govan or the architect-- the proposed building is hideous and makes no sense. I can't help but wonder whether there is something else going on here. I have a subscription to the NYRB and this article struck me as a bit odd and defensive in tone.

by Anonymousreply 77October 24, 2020 10:27 PM

The grill at the Getty has the BEST cheeseburgers.

by Anonymousreply 78October 26, 2020 2:30 AM

The Guggenheim was another one with an egomaniacal architect who thought he was more important than the stuff awkwardly placed on the curving walls and sloping floor.

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by Anonymousreply 79October 26, 2020 2:37 AM

R44, the Japanese Pavilion is by Bruce Goff and IIRC is a city landmark.

by Anonymousreply 80October 26, 2020 2:51 AM

R80 Haw did that building get a designation like that, while many of the other ones were much older? Especially in L.A., which doesn’t have the strongest record for Historic Preservation?

by Anonymousreply 81October 26, 2020 2:54 AM

Is the proposed design for the new LACMA supposed to represent a hubcap that flew off the freeway and landed on Wilshire Boulevard?

by Anonymousreply 82October 26, 2020 2:56 AM

One of my favorite places in Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to live close by, and some of the best moments of my life were the Sunday evening classical music venue.

I love museums, and even though I’m no longer in Los Angeles, I was saddened to read about this last week.

by Anonymousreply 83October 26, 2020 3:05 AM

Bruce Goff was an eccentric architect with not too many public commissions, so the Japanese Pavilion is an important example of a very rare style. LA has a category of cultural landmark that might provide coverage to relatively newer buildings. I'm not 100% sure this is the case, however.

by Anonymousreply 84October 26, 2020 3:07 AM

R82 The dopey and unfunctional National Museum of Australia was designed to represent an "Aboriginal lizard"

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by Anonymousreply 85October 26, 2020 3:09 AM

R85, well God knows I look at that and immediately think: "aboriginal lizard".

Actually I think: "partially recycled Coke cans".

by Anonymousreply 86October 26, 2020 3:12 AM

R85 I can kind of make out a prancing pony on the roof, but that’s about it.

by Anonymousreply 87October 26, 2020 3:15 AM

"Post Modern" architects are crazy egomaniacs.

by Anonymousreply 88October 26, 2020 3:26 AM

"'I’m interested in quality, not quantity,' Govan told me in that interview, adding that he wanted visitors to enjoy 'the luxury of space, light, and transparency.'"

Call me old fashioned, but I don't go to museums to see "space, light, and transparency." I go to museums to see works of art.

by Anonymousreply 89October 26, 2020 4:10 AM

It's gonna go so well with the Academy's new museum combining the Streamline Modern May Company front with an Epcot sphere of something just down the corner at Fairfax.

by Anonymousreply 90October 26, 2020 4:23 AM

R77 I am certainly appreciative of the challenge to Euro-centric privilege ... and design, form, representation used to give new perspectives, opening the world to more diverse cultures and new and even oppressed narratives, yeah I'm down with all that.

But this notion of jumbling up art across culture, geography, time seems confusing to me. Maybe I am to OCD, but having a historical context helps me understand it better... ripping up an encyclopedia doesn't, by itself, destroy white patriarchy's control of how we understand aesthetics. I like walking through rooms that progress through continents and centuries.

Design: there was an article about all this in a recent New Yorker too. Comments about how the architect didn't understand the city... things like having the building extend over Wilshire would have traffic stuck beneath... Angelenos feeling they were stuck under a freeway underpass not under some situational innovation.

Pictures of the building from the top are indeed interesting. The organic curves matching the tar pits in kind of cheesy, but the form is pleasing. But from the ground the drawings do look like a small midwestern city's airport terminal, or a community college in Bakersfield.

by Anonymousreply 91October 26, 2020 5:19 AM

I think everyone needs to, at least, stop and appreciate the difficulty of this decision. Should you choose an iconic LA architect like Thom Mayne or EOM, and end up with a temple of narcissism? A soulless Asian architect, and end up with the Lucas Museum? Allied Works would have have been my choice, but Columbus Circle is probably haunting him still. You queens love Meier, but remember that Meier is no longer part of the architectural conversation, especially after sexually harassing ladies for years.

by Anonymousreply 92October 26, 2020 1:22 PM

Or you could choose the cheaper and more sustainable option and refurbish what's already there. There's still been no reason given for why demolition is the only option.

by Anonymousreply 93October 26, 2020 3:37 PM

I found this extensive report while searching for why the Japanese Pavilion would have protective designation status. It is reviewed on page 19, and while it doesn’t fall within being fifty years plus, they are saying it has potential to be included for historical preservation in the future as a prime example of Organic Architecture and being the work of two master architects.

Looking deeper into the report to see why the three original buildings wouldn’t have been considered for historical preservation since they fit the age requirements, it really comes down to how much from the original plans they were compromised. It was the addition of the Arts of the Americas building, the reconfiguration of the plaza and awkward additions to the core buildings that sealed their fate for no longer being worthy of designation.

I think right from the start in the sixties when they had to rethink the pooled fountains around the original entryway that it lost some of its intended unity, beauty and integrity. What’s interesting is that we most likely have the technology or materials now days to fix whatever the flaw was that caused the fountain design to fail at that time.

The report is extensive, over 275 pages and covers the history, buildings, surrounding important elements and is well documented with photos if you want to get better understanding of what these spaces looked like.

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by Anonymousreply 94October 26, 2020 5:04 PM

R79: The Guggenheim is much more functional than what's being proposed here which seems like something that will be ripped up sooner than anyone expects once the pseudo-post colonial ideas have been put in place.

by Anonymousreply 95October 26, 2020 5:33 PM

I wish Beaux Arts architecture would make a comeback.

by Anonymousreply 96October 26, 2020 5:38 PM

R79, that is a common misconception and not 100% fair to Wright. The building was intended to intensify the viewing of Non-Objectivist Art, specifically that of Kandinsky, not "Modern" art as a whole. The ramp, the circle, the oculus and the other features were thought to guide the human viewer in new ways of seeing Kandinsky's vision. It may sound like flim-flam, but it was part of the brief.

by Anonymousreply 97October 26, 2020 5:53 PM

I always felt like the old LACMA was a chaotic jumble of buildings, but I'm not much of a fan of Renzo Piano's design. And a smaller display space makes no functional sense. Museumgoers want to see more art, not less.

by Anonymousreply 98October 26, 2020 6:11 PM

cause the architect is the most expensive builder of monk caves in the history of earth...so of course Govan wants HIM.

Govan will be run out of town soon....

by Anonymousreply 99October 26, 2020 6:55 PM

[quote] Govan will be run out of town soon....

and I’m just the dame to do it!

by Anonymousreply 100October 26, 2020 7:45 PM

Los Angeles actually has a splendid Beaux Arts Museum building in the Natural History Museum of LA County. It once served as a combined art and natural history museum and is a rare example of Beaux Arts done in pink California sandstone.

by Anonymousreply 101October 26, 2020 7:52 PM

R101 Nice reminder. I remember when I was a young boy going down to that museum to see a Van Gogh traveling exhibition. One of my best memories of art and childhood. Yes, I am really old.

by Anonymousreply 102October 27, 2020 2:25 AM

The woman probably agrees the Museum should scaled down because she asserts (at .28) that White People have No Culture.

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by Anonymousreply 103October 27, 2020 12:09 PM

As if there was a need to despise LACMA even more, it’s been revealed that the new outdoor art installation of a raucous Christmas party is all just part of an elaborate advertisement for Miller Lite beer.

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by Anonymousreply 104December 6, 2020 7:56 PM

Govan has been kicked-out! Of his house at least, no more free housing for the director, as if that little bit of returned money to the museum is going to plug the enormous financial hole he’s created. I guess it’s a least a show of good faith on his part and maybe a handful of jobs might be saved if he targets the money to go towards that. Or will he just have the board give him a “housing allowance” to make up for it?

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by Anonymousreply 105February 10, 2021 1:44 PM

So, it’s not a van down by the river, but supposedly Govan is living in a trailer park in Malibu. I call bullshit, even knowing there are a few famous ones, this still sounds like something to illicit sympathy or get a wealthy donor to turn over a property for him to live in. He’ll probably be living in a fabulous penthouse apartment by April.

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by Anonymousreply 106March 16, 2021 12:21 AM

Is it normal for directors to be provided housing by their museums?

[quote]The Museum of Contemporary Art’s more iconoclastic Klaus Biesenbach, on the other hand, has set up housekeeping in a massive converted downtown-adjacent warehouse—a space he shares with his pet duck, Cupcakes—decorated with palm trees, midnight-blue walls, and a lone bed as its main piece of furniture.

Why do these people try so hard?

by Anonymousreply 107March 16, 2021 4:23 AM

Well it is nice to know the director of the Hammer Museum has a fabulous house to go home to at night, even if Armie Hammer doesn’t.

by Anonymousreply 108March 16, 2021 4:29 AM

Quite involved article, I need to read it again as I’m not sure if the writer is in agreement or contention about the the new museum.

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by Anonymousreply 109July 30, 2021 5:42 AM

Not going to lie, karma of this makes me extremely happy. Number one role of advancement, don’t piss off your largest non profit donor.

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by Anonymousreply 110October 21, 2021 11:50 PM

Updates, things are behind schedule and over cost.

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by Anonymousreply 111November 5, 2021 3:31 AM

I didn't know about this and I hate it. When I was in high school we visited LA on a school trip. We went to the Getty, the LACMA, the Tar Pits among others. I loved the LACMA because I associate that style of architecture with 1950s/60s LA/Hollywood.

There are three types of architecture I associate with Hollywood glamor, that kind of mid-century futurism/modern, Art-Deco/streamline, and Spanish Colonial. At least the beautiful May Co. building was saved by the Academy.

by Anonymousreply 112November 5, 2021 4:07 AM

[quote]Govan, 58, had been living in a 1926 Tudor-style, five-bedroom, 5,800-square-foot mansion... But in November, the owner of the house—Museum Associates, the nonprofit providing LACMA with financial backing—sold the manse for $6.7 million. At that point, Govan, who’d been living in the home for free since he started as director in 2006, downsized to a more modest (but still rent-free) $2.2 million, 3,300-square-foot Spanish Revival in Mid-Wilshire owned by the museum itself.

WHAT? That job lets you live in a million dollar mansions owned by the museum for free? WTF.

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by Anonymousreply 113November 5, 2021 5:01 AM

So basically, the design is a giant oil slick. Gee I wonder where they got that idea from being right next to the tar pits.

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by Anonymousreply 114November 5, 2021 5:18 AM

r113 IIRC, that's also part of the Met director's compensation. Probably not unusual for cities with extremely high cost of housing.

by Anonymousreply 115November 5, 2021 5:30 AM

Maybe not a surprise to you R115, and maybe it's not uncommon with that job but I still find it shocking. I live in LA and I used to live in that area. I know what the cost of housing is. No one I know gets to live in a company provided mansion for free just because housing is expensive. You can rent an average 2 bedroom in that area for about $2,500. Typical houses across the street from there are about 1.6 million. What he was living in was well above that. It was a actual mansion.

by Anonymousreply 116November 5, 2021 5:56 AM

R114 Except they've now changed the shape and it's now going to be white, so the wit of the original design is lost

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by Anonymousreply 117November 5, 2021 1:28 PM

University presidents also get free housing, as it's generally understood that the director's residence will serve as a fund raising venue (intimate dinners/receptions). Real estate is also a good investment for non-profit boards that can afford it.

by Anonymousreply 118November 5, 2021 1:38 PM

Headmasters and some upper administrators at private schools also receive very nice housing and other places like New York Public Library also have hosing connected to their top leadership position.

by Anonymousreply 119November 5, 2021 2:00 PM

[quote]Probably not unusual for cities with extremely high cost of housing.

Funny how in these sorts of roles they're never bothered about how their non-executive staff afford their own housing costs

by Anonymousreply 120November 5, 2021 3:20 PM

Non-executive staff are a dime a dozen at non-profits. They don't bring in big donors and there's always another over-educated/under-employed sap willing to work for nothing, especially in big cities. Museums only care about people who *make* money, not those who cost money.

by Anonymousreply 121November 5, 2021 3:28 PM
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