Reuters

The troubled Museum of Contemporary Art just rejected an offer to merge with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The troubled Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is going to try surviving on its own after apparently rejecting an offer from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to merge into a kind of super-museum. It's a risky move for an organization that has long been in financial straits. Per the Los Angeles Times a MOCA spokesperson issued the following statement: 

The Board is in agreement that the best future for MOCA would be as an independent institution. The Board understands that this will require a significant increase in MOCA’s endowment to ensure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve

LACMA wasn't the only organization that MOCA appeared to be fraternizing with. Earlier this month Patricia Cohen of the New York Times reported that MOCA was in talks with the National Gallery of Art in Washington to work together on "programming, research and exhibitions." Cohen noted that this apparently was the idea of benefactor billionaire Eli Broad, and that the partnership "would not include financial or fund-raising assistance." There was also the possibility of a MOCA merger with the University of Southern California

This past Sunday the Los Angeles Times editorialized on MOCA's future, writing: "To stay truly independent, MOCA needs, ultimately, to quadruple its $23-million endowment. It's possible that this latest tumult may prompt an urgent effort to raise that money and give the museum a way to survive on its own. That would be the best scenario of all." Now it looks like that's the path the museum is taking. 

MOCA has also emerged out of a period of internal strife: over the summer the museum suffered the loss of influential artists from their board following the firing/resignation of chief curator Paul Schimmel under controversial gallerist-turned-museum director Jeffrey Deitch.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a Metro PCS store in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    What D.C.’s Go-Go Showdown Reveals About Gentrification

    A neighborhood debate over music swiftly became something bigger, and louder: a cry for self-determination from a community that is struggling to be heard.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. The facade of a casino in Atlantic City.
    Photos

    Photographing the Trumpian Urbanism of Atlantic City

    Brian Rose’s new book uses the deeply troubled New Jersey city as a window into how a developer-turned-president operates.

  4. a photo of San Francisco tourists posing before the city's iconic skyline.
    Life

    Cities Don’t Have Souls. Why Do We Battle For Them?

    What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change.

  5. A new map of neighborhood change in U.S. metros shows where displacement is the main problem, and where economic decline persists.
    Equity

    From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change

    A new report and accompanying map finds extreme gentrification in a few cities, but the dominant trend—particularly in the suburbs—is the concentration of low-income population.