Why Save LACMA?

Because the current redevelopment plan has been widely panned by critics and, more importantly, by the public. If completed, it will turn our beloved County Museum of Art into a shadow of its former self, a physically smaller institution burdened by a heavy debt load. Ultimately, this would be a costly mistake as:

  • L.A. Would Be Losing Access To A World-Class Collection For Years To Come

“In preparation to demolish four existing buildings, the museum will have to pack and move about 125,000 objects. About half of the museum’s permanent collection galleries already have closed, including areas displaying art from the Islamic world, South and Southeast Asia, Egypt and the ancient Near East and Japan.” – Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times (link)

  • LACMA Would Be Losing Thousands of Square Feet Of Exhibition Space

“The building would be 347,500 square feet—40,000 square feet smaller than the last version and more than 45,000 square feet smaller than the four existing LACMA buildings that will be razed and replaced by the Zumthor-designed structure.  -Bianca Barragan, Curbed L.A. (link)

  • LACMA Would Be Squandering Hundreds of Millions in Public Funds To Build an Inadequate Building

“The proposed design and construction of LACMA is, I feel, in a word, a bomb. I fear if pursued the project will not only be a colossal waste of money, including substantial public funds, but would subvert the city’s cultural spirit. No doubt with a price tag approaching a billion dollars, it undoubtedly will drain funds from a multitude of art projects across Southern California.  -Sam Hall Kaplan, architecture critic (link)

  • LACMA Would Incur Enormous Debt To Fund Construction of an Inadequate Building

“Of concern to [Moody’s] was the museum’s already high level of debt—$171.5m, all at variable, rather than fixed, rates of interest, making it subject to potential ballooning if the economy suffers—and its debt-to-revenue ratio of 2.8.” – Daniel Grant, The Art Newspaper (link)

  • L.A. May End Up Losing Priceless Art to Pay for These Loans

“As museums face down debt, budget cuts and fears for the future, they’re increasingly looking to their valuable collections as a potential means of survival.” – Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian (link)

However, Save LACMA can:

  • Encourage City and County Leadership to Reconsider This Costly Plan

“I have long loved buildings such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which the institution now is proposing to tear down in favor of an expensive, equally insensitive, and functionally problematic mega-blob.” – Aaron Betsky, Architect Magazine (link)

  • Empower All Citizens to Have a Voice With and About Your Museum

“Art is an eloquent conversation among artists, past and present, which smart museum curators know how to host. What a waste of an incomparable resource, already contextualized. What about them — the LACMA community?” – Christopher Knight, “An open letter to LACMA architect Peter Zumthor: Stop dissing L.A.’s art,” Los Angeles Times (link)

  • Create an Appropriate Review and Design Process For a New Campus That Will Thrive for Decades

“LACMA’s proposed Zumthor building has made it difficult to do any kind of long-term planning.” – Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times (link)

Remember, it’s your LACMA, it’s our LACMA. Together, let’s Save LACMA!