Hold your horses, LACMA. It looks like MOCA will not be accepting your merger proposal after all. Over the past few weeks, at least three partnership proposals with the financially beleaguered museum have been made public. These include the offer made by LACMA, as well as concurrent proposals by the University of Southern California and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
At a March 15th meeting, MOCA trustees would deliberate over the options. No possible details of the meeting emerged until last night, when the trustees issued a telling statement. It appears that both California proposals have been knocked off the table:
The Board is in agreement that the best future for MOCA would be as an independent institution. The Board understands that this will mean a significant increase in MOCA’s endowment to insure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve.
No word yet on whether the National Gallery of Art’s proposal, a purely programmatic and non-monetary exchange, would be reviewed under further consideration. However, the trustees’ statement does outline three main goals for the museum moving forward: 1) Grow the endowment; 2) Keep an open mind with collaboration; and 3) Stay independent.
As it stands, the National Gallery of Art’s proposal, which fails to indicate any ideas for growing the endowment, doesn’t meet all three requirements. That responsibility for growing the museum’s resources will need to rest with MOCA’s board.
For a complete history of MOCA news, see The A-Z MOCA Scandal Index.