Wednesday 9 January 2008

A lump of coal in your stocking

The announcement that influential LA collector Eli Broad will create an independent foundation to maintain control of his collection, rather than gifting it to a museum (or museums) is creating chatter on the American blogs. The foundation will loan the works to museums.

The announcement is seen as a particular slap in the face for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which is due to open the Renzo Piano-designed, Eli Broad-financed Broad Contemporary Art Museum next month. One of Broad's reasons for his decision is his concern no museum has space to place a large portion of his 2000+ piece collection on permanent display.

The most interesting quote for me in the article was this:

Mr. Broad ... said he did not view his decision as a vote of no confidence in the museum. Rather, he said, it represents no less than a new paradigm for the way museums in general collect art and interact with one another.

“I think it’s a new model that makes sense for other collections,” he said. “If it was up to me, I believe that museums ought to own works jointly.” Mr. Broad encouraged that practice last year with his purchase of a work by the artist Chris Burden, which he then gave jointly to the county museum and another Los Angeles institution, the Museum of Contemporary Art, where he was a founding trustee.

Image: The Broad Contemporary Art Museum under contruction, photo from the New York Times.

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