Mike Boehm digs deeper into the PR campaign around LA’s MoCA as Eli Broad sets off to Art Basel and Venice to promote the museum with private dinner parties to promote the museum and its upcoming 30th Anniversary gala that Broad and the museum’s director will also mark a moment of renewal for the institution crippled by mis-management. In this Culture Monster post, he gives voice to former board member and current skeptic Dean Valentine’s critique of the “new” MoCA:
“None of the fundamental issues that brought the museum to this pass has been dealt with, and simply cutting a few million dollars isn’t the same as a plan,” Valentine said, reiterating his belief that only a complete turnover of the board would give MOCA a chance at reliable financial support and lure a new director with a strong creative vision. Charles E. Young, the former UCLA chancellor who took over as chief executive in late December with a mandate to put the financial house in order after the ouster of Jeremy Strick, has said that, at 77, he’s not planning to keep the job beyond mid-2010 at the latest.
“To attract a good director, they’re going to have to prove it’s not a museum that belongs to Eli Broad, and has an independent board with a depth of knowledge and financial wherewithal,” Valentine said. “I can’t imagine any director is going to come to MOCA in its current state, unless it’s somebody who desperately needs a job.”
Chances are that Valentine won’t be on the invitation list for those parties in Venice and Basel.
For those keeping score, MOCA’s financial statement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, shows that it racked up a $5.6-million deficit while spending an unprecedented $26.9 million (although about $2.4 million of that was property depreciation and a hit for uncollectable pledges).
Eli Broad Going to Bat for MoCA Overseas–Is It Enough? (Culture Monster/LA Times)