LACMA Offers to Merge with MOCA L.A.


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a formal proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, according to a report in the L.A. Times.

LACMA would agree to pay $100 million, the article says, and would maintain MOCA’s two downtown locations and preserve the MOCA L.A. moniker.

“Combining LACMA and MOCA would strengthen both,” LACMA director Michael Govan said in a statement. “LACMA’s mission is to share world-class art with the widest array of audiences possible. MOCA’s downtown location, extraordinary collection and devoted constituency, combined with LACMA’s modern art masterpieces, large audiences and broad educational outreach (especially in schools near downtown L.A.), would create a cultural institution that is much more than the sum of its parts.”

MOCA L.A. has been at the center of controversy since 2008, when a plunging endowment brought an earlier proposal for a merger with LACMA, which was scuttled when Eli Broad bailed out MOCA to the tune of $30 million. New director Jeffrey Deitch, a former New York art dealer, has been accused of overly populist, audience-driven programming, and all the artists who served on the museum’s board-John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha-all resigned in 2012.