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LACMA Wants to Seize MOCA For Contemporary Super-Museum

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Whoa, some super-crazy museum madness could be about to go down: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art. LACMA head Michael Govan and a couple boardmembers wrote a letter last month saying that Miracle Mile-based "LACMA would preserve MOCA's two downtown locations and operate them under the MOCA name," according to the LA Times. LACMA would also commit to raising $100 million for the new joint venture. Govan says MOCA boardmembers requested the letter and that the whole thing is "friendly and cooperative." On his museum's blog today, Govan writes "Combining MOCA and LACMA would create one of the largest and most significant art museum collections in the United States. Uniquely, LACMA/MOCA would become a general museum with a substantial commitment to contemporary art in three or more facilities designed expressly for that purpose." (In addition to its Grand Avenue home, MOCA has the Geffen space in Little Tokyo.)

He adds that it would make sense for LACMA to have a particular focus on contemporary art, since "Today L.A. may be home to the most important concentration of contemporary artists in the world." (Meanwhile, don't forget that LACMA is also teaming with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on a movie museum at the edge of its campus.) LACMA proposed a merger in 2008 (MOCA was eventually bailed out financially by philanthropist Eli Broad, who's now building his own museum across the street on Grand Avenue); more recently, MOCA was talking about partnering up with USC. The museum's been struggling financially for years.
· Exclusive: LACMA moves to take over MOCA [LAT]
· MOCA Update: Merger, $$$ Talk [Curbed LA]

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