Launching a Contemporary Art Museum (1980)

The economics of contemporary art, real estate, and philanthropy have a long and complicated history in Los Angeles. Even MOCA, with its admirable mission to pioneer a new kind of artist-driven museum and support experimental work, was founded with more than a dash of late-capitalist pragmatism: both a place for new art and an instrument of reinvigorated private development on languishing Bunker Hill. In this 1980 LA Times article, Barbara Isenberg lays out the web of philanthropists and politicians, developers and institutions invested in the creation of a new museum of contemporary art for Los Angeles.