FROM Christopher Knight
UCLA’s Plan for a New Art Infrastructure UCLA’s School of Art and Architecture is about to get a major redesign. A major donation will allow the school to create a new building that will house state-of-the-art work spaces for its elite students. UCLA has a top-rated Master of Fine Arts program, which only admits about 20 students a year. It’s the second-highest rated MFA program in the country - after Yale. But the new investment is about more than just that handful of students.
Rare Art Rolled Up Under the Couch Most people don’t discover rare 18th century masterpieces rolled up under their sofa, but that’s exactly what happened to Christina Jones Janssen. The masterpiece in question? Miguel Cabrera’s From Spaniard and Morisca, Albino. It shows a Spanish father and a Moorish North African mother, and between them, their albino baby. It’s a casta painting, which is a controversial Mexican genre that shows domestic scenes of interracial marriages. And the artist, Miguel Cabrera, is known as a master in this field. LACMA has acquired the painting and will have it on display later this month.
MOCA, LACMA and Eli Broad The art world is all abuzz over the latest offer to help the Museum of Contemporary Art, with its world-class collection of works created since 1945. Five years ago, MOCA was bailed out by local billionaire Eli Broad, but it's still in more than one kind of trouble, and LACMA, LA County's Museum of Art has proposed a merger.
Is MOCA Still in the Hole? Financial problems at LA's Museum of Contemporary Art drew the attention of the State Attorney General when trustees paid bills with endowment money earmarked for other purposes. Two years ago, LA billionaire Eli Broad promised to match funds raised by the museum up to $15 million. In the first fiscal year of the bailout, the museum raised $6.25 million, leaving $8.75 million of Broad's money for the fiscal year that just ended. How much has MOCA raised to match it? Zero. MOCA has also undergone months of staff turmoil, culminating in last week's firing — or resignation — of Chief Curator Paul Schimmel , who's credited with giving the museum a first-class international reputation.
Eli Broad to the Rescue The nation's best Museum of Contemporary Art has spent down its endowment to meet operating expenses. That's led to an investigation by the California State Attorney General. The LA County Museum of Art offered a merger , but today MOCA's trustees declined. They accepted a deal from MOCA’s founding chairman, philanthropist Eli Broad . He will match the contributions of others up to $15 million and provide another $3 million a year for five years to fund exhibitions.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?