The Santa Monica Museum of Art has had a rough year at its long-time home, the Bergamot Art Station—all of it stemming from the plan to redevelop the arts complex with a hotel, galleries, offices, and, supposedly, a new building for the museum—and now it's just giving up and moving out of town. The museum's rent more than tripled last summer after SMMoA threw its support behind a redevelopment plan that its landlord in the complex, himself a Bergamot gallery owner, opposed. (That plan included a 20,000-square-foot new space and a $10-million endowment for the museum.) Either way, the Santa Monica City Council chose a different plan altogether. So now the art museum is pressing pause, taking time to move out and look for another site, maybe even one outside of Santa Monica, says KPCC.
SMMoA is not closing forever; in fact, a couple previously planned exhibits will still happen, and have been scheduled for 2016 and 2017, though it's not clear where those exhibits will be shown, reports the LA Times. For now, the museum's small staff will operate out of offices in Century City (a donor will pay their rent) as they conduct the search for a new space.
SMMoA doesn't have its own permanent collection—it shows temporary exhibits and hosts touring ones —which will offer some flexibility in finding a new place. And they're looking everywhere. "We had always hoped to be in Santa Monica, but now I think the board is open to a possible move," the director says. The museum's last day at Bergamot will be May 3.
· Santa Monica Museum of Art is leaving Bergamot Station [SCPR]
· Santa Monica Museum of Art to leave longtime home at Bergamot Station [LAT]
· Huge But "Safe" Overhaul Picked For Bergamot Art Station [Curbed LA]
· Vengeful Landlord Triples Rent on Santa Monica Museum of Art [Curbed LA]
· SaMo's Bergamot Art Station Getting Big Multi-Use Makeover [Curbed LA]