As everyone should know by now, MOCA - the Museum of Contemporary Art, is in such financial trouble, there are discussion about it merging with LACMA - the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art. Everyone - other than some MOCA trustees - also seems to agree - this is a very bad idea. Below is a brief summary of what should be done instead:
One of MOCA’s on-going problems is that it has no physical room or logical way to expand. It cannot show even 5% of what it should be showing of its permanent collection and it cannot attract any major collectors to its board since it has no room to display what the museum already owns – much less what they will get in the future.
At the same time, the Getty Museum is building the world’s largest photography collection, but – by law – it cannot add even one square foot to its campus in Brentwood - and MOCA has a very modest photography collection.
In addition, Eli Broad is looking for a place to build the storage facility for his collection.
Adding to that mix, there are acres and acres of under-utilized infrastructure owned by the City of Los Angeles within one to two blocks of MOCA.
The obvious solution is that the Getty be given rights to part of that land for its photography museum (which would then replace the need for MOCA to spend its resources on that subject) in exchange for short term help for MOCA.
The same could be done with Eli’s collection – and he has already - supposedly - offered help for MOCA to stay independent.
There is also sufficient land for a mixed use component to help pay for the costs of the long term home for MOCA's permanent collections. There is also the possibility for reconfiguring the final phase of the Grand Avenue project to coordinate with these efforts.
Now I have already walked all these sites with various civic leaders – and each one of them has agreed – this is a physically feasible project.
So... why not?