John Coplans (1920-2003) was a photographer and writer who served as senior curator of the Pasadena Art Museum from 1967 to 1970. In 1962 he co-founded Artforum magazine with Philip Leider and John Irwin, and was Editor-in-Chief from 1971 to 1977. In 1978, as the director of the Akron Art Museum, he founded the Midwest art journal Dialogue. Recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships, four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and an award from the International Association of Art Critics, Coplans was made Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2001. He is the author of nine books on art and photography, including A BODY (powerHouse Books, 2002) and a small collection of his critical writings, PROVOCATIONS (London Projects, 1996).
Pasadena’s Collapse and the Simon Takeover: Diary of a Disaster (1975) by John Coplans
During his long, high-spirited career, photographer John Coplans (1920-2003) served as director of the Akron Art Museum, editor in chief of Artforum, and senior curator of the Pasadena Museum of Art. In this 1975 Artforum essay, he recounts the Pasadena Museum's financial collapse and subsequent takeover by powerful Southern California industrialist Norton Simon.