Steve Cohen Joins LA MOCA Board


Hedge-fund manager Steven A. Cohen has been elected to the 45-member board of trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Chairman and CEO of S.A.C. Capital Advisors, based in Stamford, Conn., Cohen was estimated by Forbes last year to be worth &9.3 billion, making him the 35th richest person in America. The 55-year-old is a major collector of modern and contemporary art with his wife, Alexandra. The couple has widely supported American museums and exhibitions, including MOCA’s own “Robert Rauschenberg: Combines” and  “© MURAKAMI,” as well as the recent de Kooning retrospective at New York’s MoMA, where he sits on the Painting and Sculpture Committee, and “HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” now at the Brooklyn Museum. He is also a director of the Robin Hood Foundation and a trustee of Brown University.

The appointment is another feather in the cap of the Los Angeles institution that in 2007 was on the brink of closure before the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation bailed it out with a $30-million challenge grant. Since then some 23 new and returning trustees have been added to the board, including Wallis Annenberg, Laurence Graff, Steven T. Mnuchin, Catherine Opie, Victor Pinchuk and Darren Star.

Among Cohen’s holdings, which range from Impressionism to contemporary art, is de Kooning’s Woman III (1952–53), purchased in 2006 for about $137.5 million from entertainment mogul David Geffen. From 2007 to 2010, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Collection loaned Damien Hirst’s notorious shark tank, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, whose 13-foot tiger shark in formaldehyde had to be replaced due to decay.