Jeffrey Deitch might be leaving MOCA. We should all stop what we are doing to read about this recent speculation, because it could be the closest the art world gets to having its own coup. Is MOCA pushing out Deitch, a former New York dealer, from his two-year-old position as director?
After years of rumors about Deitch’s departure, new anonymous sources make this parting of ways seem inevitable.
According to former LA Weekly arts editor Tom Christie and B.L.A.T.C. blogger;
The Museum of Contemporary Art has formed a search committee for a new director to replace Jeffrey Deitch, sources tell B.L.A.T.C.. Deitch, meawhile [sic], has reportedly been on a search himself in recent weeks – for both an apartment and a gallery space on New York’s Upper East Side … MOCA staffers – what’s left of them at any rate – are said to have been informed of Deitch’s impending departure on Friday.
Hours later, the LA Weekly, followed up Christie’s story with additional information. According to a confidential source, who, the Weekly mentions, is not Tom Christie, Deitch will leave by the end of July, and MOCA will very likely make this announcement official on Wednesday.
When Deitch took over as MOCA’s director in 2010, he inherited an institution at the crossroads of financial solvency, seemingly held up by a mixture of toothpicks and matching grants from Eli Broad. MOCA was in a rough state when Deitch began, and during his tenure, it continued to go downhill: across-the-board cuts diminished the museum’s staff, prompting the departure of prominent artist board members.
With or without a Deitch, MOCA seems to be getting itself back on track thanks to a newly empowered board. The board is well on its way to making its $100 million donation goal by the end of this year. Hopefully, they’ll use some of this newfound money to hire back the staff they’ve hemorrhaged since Deitch came on board.
If Deitch moves back to New York, we imagine he’ll be in good company, helping spur the Upper East Side’s gallery boom. He’d have a fairly welcome homecoming.