Posts Tagged ‘Wallis Annenberg’
Eli Broad’s power is tolerated because it remains remarkably unchallenged. This seemingly monopoly of philanthropic power led Christopher Knight to compare Broad to another infamous, Los Angeles art patron:
[Norton] Simon’s flirtations with giving [his] collection away (at least seven institutions); distrust of traditional museum management; engineering of a bailout of an artistically adventuresome but financially faltering institution (the old Pasadena Museum for Simon, MOCA for Broad); later deciding to open his own museum, and more…[ii]
Another similarity to Broad: Before Norton Simon’s takeover of the Pasadena Art Museum, Simon had intended to establish his collection as a lending organization. Taking control of the Pasadena Art Museum proved irresistible to Simon, and today the Norton Simon Museum rarely loans works. I seriously doubt unfounded rumors that Broad has some kind of evil master plan to takeover or somehow combine his collections with MOCA.
Broad can also be measured to his contemporaries. Los Angeles is not actually a one-philanthropist town. “Pomegranate Queen” Lynda Resnick is an easy comparison. Like Broad, Resnick is a long-time donor and trustee of LACMA. Like Broad, she and her husband provided funds ($54 million) for a Renzo-Piano-designed building at LACMA. The Lynda and Stuart Resnick Pavilion was part of Phase 2 of LACMA’s Transformation and sits directly north of BCAM. When the pavilion opened in October of 2010, one of three inaugural shows was gleaned from the Resnick’s private collection.
What is 70 feet long, suspended by a 160-foot-tall crane, and will cost an estimated $25 million dollars?—Jeff Koons’s Train, of course. The massive sculpture is now several years along in planning; its realization prolonged by several factors. The most retarding factor: the economy. When and if realized (a big “if”), Train will consist of a replica 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive hung on its end by a Liebherr LR 1750 lattice-boom crane. Twice a day the train’s engine will hum to life, pistons will churn, wheels will spin, and finally jets of steam will explode from the train’s stack , while its whistle screams. Considering its authorship and this suggestive action, it is easy to read Train as a giant orgasmic metaphor.
This sexy piece is commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). It will hang over the museum courtyard, behind the BP Pavilion, next to the Broad Contemporary Art (BCAM) and Resnick Pavilion buildings. All of the buildings are recent additions to museum’s campus—part of LACMA’s multi-year, capital campaign called “Transformation.” This western portion of LACMA’s campus is the product of the creative leadership and powerful fundraising accumen of Michael Govan, Wallis Annenberg Director and CEO of LACMA. Read the rest of this entry »