Posts Tagged ‘museum’
It may seem unconventional to begin a thesis in arts administration discussing a football stadium. This thesis is an exploration of urban planning in Los Angeles involving large-scale, public-private development. In the following chapters, I document how philanthropist Eli Broad’s under-construction contemporary art museum, The Broad, is being utilized to stimulate further redevelopment of an area of downtown Los Angeles called Bunker Hill. The Broad museum and the larger, coinciding Grand Avenue Project has engendered some conversation about the investment associated with public-private development projects, and the resulting public and private benefits. he amount of dialogue investment and return benefit involved with the Broad museum and Grand Avenue is minimal in comparison to another large-scale, public-private development proposal less than two miles away: Farmer’s Field. The proposed downtown National Football League stadium has garnered substantial, well-publicized and in-depth political, social, and economic debate about investments and benefits. For this reason, I believe reflecting on some of the lively discussions circulating abound Farmer’s Field can be useful in introducing similar questions and concerns, which may not have addressed or considered, or worse ignored, in the planning process of The Broad museum.
FIELD OF SCHEMES? – PUBLIC-PRIVATE INVESTMENT & BENEFIT
“We’ve built more arenas and stadiums than anyone in the world, ever–including the Romans!”[i]
– Tim Leiweke, President and C.E.O., Anschutz Entertainment Group
It is a plotline ripped from the popular television show Entourage (season 7 to be specific). Big-time developer Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) wants to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. AEG’s tactic to lure a franchise to the city is to build a brand new 1.3 billion stadium in downtown. The new stadium, which AEG has already sold naming rights to will be called Farmers Field, after the insurance company. AEG plans to squeeze the 72,000-seat stadium into the already dense LA Live—an entertainment and sports cluster, which AEG has spent more than a decade developing between the Figueroa corridor and the 110 Freeway. LA Live includes the Staples Center (home to both the Lakers and Clippers NBA franchises), Nokia Theaters, Regal Cinemas, JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton, and Grammy Museum. AEG has appealed for both public and government support of the project by communicating its record of success and by touting a lengthy list of impressive economic benefits, AEG claims, the city would should the NFL return: tens of thousands of jobs, construction of nearby hotels, a revived Convention Center, and hundreds of millions of dollars in increased economic activity.[ii] The economic influence seems incalculable and the project non-negotiable.
SFMOMA, Cantor Arts Center, LACMA
This week, SFMOMA released additional renderings of its eminent expansion including new views of the interior. Snohetta (the chic, Norwegian architects) and SFMOMA haven’t been apologetic or really skirted the issue about plans to basically gut the entire existing building, keeping only Mario Botta’s postmodern façade. Climbing SFMOMA’s imposing stairs is literally my first memory of being in a museum. As a kid, I tried to recreate the alternating bands of polished and flame-finished black granite of these stairs with a set of sleek dominoes on my living room floor. A friend and I lamented the demise of Botta’s staircase the last time we visited SFMOMA and we brainstormed potential artist projects that might utilize the soon-to-be-dismantled stairs. (The SFMOMA expansion is going to be LEED Certified so maybe some of the black stone will be reclaimed.)
Alas, the released images show all of this will be eliminated in the expansion, sacrificed for the sake of greater street presence and improved openness to pedestrian traffic flow. (The $555 million expansion will also double the current amount of gallery space, so there is that.) New public space includes a multi-storied, glass-fronted gallery open to Howard Street. In the renderings, this gallery space is filled with a massive Richard Serra corten-steel sculpture. This isn’t just a filler “scalie” artwork; Serra’s Sequence (2006) will be installed in the new space when the Snohetta expansion opens in 2016. Sequence is part of the Fisher collection, the donors who generous donated many buckets of ducats for the expansion, and who are kinda-sorta donating their incomparable trove of contemporary art to the museum.
Norton Simon Museum
As I was finishing up in this exhibition, I overheard a tour being given to what I presumed was a UCLA summer painting course. “We have the Getty in our own backyard, but the Getty’s collection kinda sucks. The Norton Simon’s is the really great collection of LA,” the teacher harped. I am paraphrasing. While I detest uninformed and unnecessary opinions (especially from arts educators) about which museum has the “best” collection, I can’t deny the Norton Simon has a pretty amazing one, and I don’t even like Impressionism. Significant Objects: The Spell of the Still Life presents a thematic cross section of the museum’s diverse collections and is an examination of “the ways in which these ostensibly mundane and insignificant subjects [harsh!] portrayed in painting and sculpture and works on paper are indeed significant.” Significant Objects does not present groundbreaking, paradigm shift-type discoveries or research, but is a huge success as a rich, educational opportunity for general audiences utilizing the permanent collection. Permanent collection show hurray! Here are the facts:
After waiting two long years, I was prepared to love every single second of the fifth season of Mad Men. And love them I did, particularly the very last seconds of the season. “You Only Live Twice” is one of my favorite James Bond themes from one of my favorite Bond films so I was cringing in period-fetish-induced pleasure as Don Draper ordered a signature old fashioned in that smoke-filled bar while Nancy Sinatra crooned away. (Did he, or didn’t he have a threesome?)
Play this song while you read the rest of this post. Read the rest of this entry »