Crisis-Stricken LA Museum Mulls Merger

MoCA director prepares to resign as bigger museum offers lifeline
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2008 8:13 AM CST
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles faces collapse from financial mismanagement and a diminishing endowment. It may merge with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.   (©Sam Felder)
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(Newser) – The future of LA's troubled Museum of Contemporary Art became somewhat clearer yesterday, as the institution's director began negotiating his resignation and the larger Los Angeles County Museum of Art proposed a merger. Tomorrow the MoCA board will meet to decide the fate of the troubled museum, which has teetered near collapse from shrinking investments and financial mismanagement, reports the New York Times.

In recent years MoCA went against standard museum practice by spending major tranches of its endowment to cover operating costs. As markets went south and shrank the endowment further, the museum has been left nearly bankrupt. The two suitors for the museum are LACMA and the billionaire financier Eli Broad—who, curiously, already houses his considerable contemporary art collection at a LACMA-run institution.