A Look at How Major Museums’ Finances Work | Artinfo

“In the wake of chief curator Paul Schimmel’s controversial departure from L.A. MOCA, various stories have swirled about the museum, its dire financial situation, and the competence of former art dealer Jeffrey Deitch in the director’s position. Comparisons have been made to Los Angeles’s other major art museum, LACMA, and other major U.S. arts institutions, not least because MOCA shares trustees (and therefore donors) with some of these museums.

With the idea of exploring the financial position of museums, ARTINFO set out to find out more. It is fairly common knowledge that at major museums budgets are big, ticket sales don’t cover all expenses, and directors are paid handsomely to coax hefty checks out of well-known collectors — but we set out to find the specifics. We requested the most recent tax returns (form 990) from the Met, MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, LACMA, L.A. MOCA, and, in search of a more comparable museum to relatively tiny MOCA, Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center. Here are the three most interesting things we found in the numbers from the last fiscal year (July 2010-June 2011).”

SOURCE: Shane Fero, “As MOCA’s Money Woes Simmer, A Look at How Major Museums’ Finances Work,” ARTINFO, July 25, 2012