The great Jori Finkel confronts one of the most important issues confronting museums today, their massive storage holdings that are not on view to the public. But two Los Angeles museums—LACMA and the Broad—are trying to change that:
At the L.A. County Museum of Art, where only 2.3% of the 119,000-piece collection is currently on view, director Michael Govan has been working with architect Peter Zumthor on new $650-million building plans that would, among other things, bring more artwork out of storage.
Meanwhile, at the Broad under construction downtown, architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro are essentially putting the storage room itself — and maybe the idea of storage as well — on display. The Broad is expected to open to the public by the end of 2014.
“There is this public assumption that museums are hoarding objects in dark rooms, and by the way that isn’t totally wrong,” said Govan. “What we’re saying is that those objects are worthy for viewing and studying if not always for exhibitions. So you’re not contemplating a masterpiece, but maybe you’ll find value in comparing and contrasting different examples of vases.”