MOCA’s Firing of Paul Schimmel is a Bad Sign

“Who is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art? According to the museum it’s Jeffrey Deitch, the former New York art dealer who — with virtually no prior museum experience — assumed the top job at one of America’s leading institutions two years ago. But don’t be so sure. Late Wednesday, MOCA dumped Paul Schimmel, its chief curator for 22 years and a prime reason for the museum’s stellar international reputation. No curator working in the United States today has a more impressive record of exhibitions and acquisitions in the field of art since 1950 than Schimmel. His sudden firing speaks of an intrusive board of trustees and a weak professional staff, which is a lethal combination for an art museum. Here’s the shocking part: Trustees voted on the firing, and Eli Broad, one of eight life trustees at MOCA, delivered the news. The board voted? On a curator’s job status? And a trustee did the dirty work? Where was the museum director? […]The deed was hardly different than a movie studio dumping talent — business as usual in Hollywood. Corporate arrogance goes with the territory. Apparently, it’s also now the style — and substance — at the Museum of Contemporary Art.” Source: Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2012. Read in full at link below: