The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) is closing in on its $750m fundraising goal for the capital campaign to cover the cost of its controversial Peter Zumthor-designed, Wilshire Boulevard-straddling building—officially the David Geffen Galleries building—which has already begun to take shape ahead of an anticipated completion in late 2024. The museum has budgeted $650m for construction costs. As part of the fundraising process, the museum has recruited more members to its board of trustees, adding 11 new members since 2020.
On Tuesday (7 March), the museum revealed the recent election of three new board members: Boojin Lee, a collector of Modern and contemporary art who has held high-level positions in the Samsung Group and the affiliated Hotel Shilla in Seoul; the contemporary art collector and venture capitalist Jim Tananbaum; and the private equity executive Jeff Yabuki. They join a set of high-profile trustees elected in recent years including the comedian and Chicano art champion Cheech Marin, Qatar Museums chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the soul music legend Lionel Richie and the powerful sports agent Rich Paul.
“Lacma’s board members bring a true diversity of experience in the fields of art, technology, philanthropy, business, sports and entertainment, among others,” Michael Govan, the museum’s director, said in a statement. “The trustees who came aboard in the past three years have already helped strengthen our local-global connections and will advance the museum’s objectives in its exciting next chapter.”
The latest fundraising boost brings the museum’s capital campaign to $736m, or around $14m (2%) short of its goal. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the museum’s building project in 2019. The project has been the subject of much debate and opposition—with one supporter, the Ahmanson Foundation, even suspending its funding while it sought clarity about how the acquisitions it had supported would be displayed in the new building.
Despite its enormous price tag, Lacma’s new elevated, 347,500 sq. ft wing is not the costliest cultural construction site in Los Angeles. That would be the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, co-founded by Star Wars film-maker George Lucas, whose $1bn, space-age home is taking shape a few miles to the southeast in Exposition Park. That institution is now scheduled to open in 2025.