Critic’s Notebook: Seeing L.A.’s MOCA as a Company

“If you’re confused by the convulsive goings-on at the internationally admired Museum of Contemporary Art, which culminated in the June 25 firing of the illustrious chief curator instrumental in putting the museum on the map, don’t be. It’s not that complicated.

In fact it’s quite simple — as easy as one, two, three:

1. In 2008, MOCA was operating a stellar art program on a dysfunctional business plan. When the U.S. economy tanked, the museum careened into a ditch.

2. In 2010, MOCA announced the unprecedented decision to put an accomplished businessman, one who built his career in art, in the director’s chair, charged with fixing the broken business side. The reins were handed to a successful New York gallery owner with virtually no experience running a large nonprofit.

3. By 2012, the new director had made little progress in repairing the museum’s dysfunctional business plan, but he was far along in dismantling the once-stellar art program. Dumping the chief curator ignited an explosion.

That’s all there is to it. One, two, three.

A great art museum whose board of trustees has a combined net worth far in excess of $21 billion shouldn’t have financial problems. But welcome to MOCA.”

Source: Christopher Knight, “Critic’s Notebook: Seeing LA’s MOCA as a company— therein lies the rub,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2012. Read in full at link below: