It appears that the trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, who met yesterday to choose between the $30 million rescue plan offered by Eli Broad and the option of a merger with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, are moving towards the Broad proposal. I say “appears” and “moving towards” because no one is calling it a done deal, at least not in public. MOCA wasn’t even ready this morning to confirm the story in today’s Los Angeles Times that Director Jeremy Strick submitted his resignation at the MOCA board meeting yesterday. Both that paper and the New York Times are quoting unnamed sources who say that the board reached preliminary agreement Thursday to go with Broad, but that the LACMA merger hasn’t been counted out entirely yet.
The reluctance to declare a final decision may have something to do with the letter sent yesterday by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to MOCA board co-chairmen Tom Unterman and David Johnson. The mayor asked the board to set aside a 30-day period for the public to comment on the options before a final decision is made. Villaraigosa also said he plans to convene a panel of “contemporary arts experts” to assist in the review process. If that’s what happens, this could take a while.