L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art Fires Chief Curator

“The Museum of Contemporary Art has fired chief curator Paul Schimmel, a respected art world figure who was at odds with board members and director Jeffrey Deitch over the direction of the museum. Schimmel, who headed the MOCA curatorial staff for 22 years, was let go Wednesday after a vote of the museum board. According to several sources, he was summoned to the office of billionaire art collector and philanthropist Eli Broad, MOCA’s top funder, and told of the board’s decision. Although many people have known that Schimmel and Deitch barely spoke and disagreed over what course the museum should take, others still expressed surprise at Schimmel’s firing. There also was dismay at the way the museum handled the high-level termination. It was first reported on a New York gallery blog, then picked up and disseminated widely on Twitter. Hours later, MOCA issued a terse announcement: “Paul Schimmel is stepping down as MOCA’s chief curator. It’s amicable and there will be a release tomorrow.” Source: Jori Finkel and Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2012.