FROM Lee Rosenbaum
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.
More New Blood at the Getty After two years without senior leadership, the Getty Trust is now fully staffed at the top. James Cuno has been President and CEO since last August, and Timothy Potts will become Director of the Getty Museum starting on September 1. Filling that job was what Cuno called his “top priority” when he came on board. He said he wanted a museum director with "an appetite for risk."
Crime and Culture at the World’s Richest Museum A new book called Chasing Aphrodite is subtitled "the hunt for looted antiquities at the world’s richest museum." That, of course, would be the Getty here in Los Angeles. Ralph Frammolino is coauthor of a work based on investigative reporting with Jason Felch, which won prizes for them and for the LA Times. Frammolino trains investigative journalists in South Asia.
Choice to Head Getty Trust Surprises Some in Art World The Getty Trust, the world's richest art institution, has named a new CEO. He is James Cuno , director of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nobody disputes his credentials, but his views on the rights of countries to retain antiquities discovered within their borders has created an uproar in the art world.
Remembering James Wood Ernest Fleischmann transformed the LA Philharmonic into a major culture institution during 30 years as director. He died today at the age of 85. (We hear more about his legacy tomorrow.) Meantime, we remember James Wood , who died suddenly last Friday at the age of 69. He took over the J. Paul Getty Trust after the troubled administration of Barry Munitz. Previously he directed the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Museum of Art. Veteran cultural journalist Lee Rosenbaum blogs as CultureGrrl at ArtsJournal.com.
Getty Looks for a New Director The world's wealthiest arts organization, the J. Paul Getty Trust, has a new board chairman, lawyer and investment broker, Mark Siegel . The Getty Museum is still looking for permanent leadership in the aftermath of Michael Brand's abrupt resignation two months ago. The Museum has just posted the job description online. Lee Rosenbaum blogs as CultureGrrl on ' Artsjournal.com .'
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.