Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is well known in the museum world for his fund raising skills. He seems to have scored a coup this week by attracting some very affluent names to the LACMA board of directors. One is Gabriel Brener, CEO of Brener Interenational Group. The other two are higher profile names — Brian Grazer, who produces all of Ron Howard’s films — and a man who has always seemed to me to have gotten all his hairstyling ideas from Edward Scissorhands — and Dasha Zhukova, the Russian fashion designer and founder of a contemporary art center in Moscow who also just happens to be the girlfriend of Russian zillionaire and collector Roman Abramovich — thus giving Govan a pipeline to a man who may actually have more money even than Govan’s go-his-own-way board member Eli Broad.
Last year Abramovich casually set two auction house records when he paid $33.6 million for Lucian Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping — the record for a living artist — and $86.3 million for Francis Bacon’s Triptych, the record for a work of postwar art. Zhukova has longtime connections to southern California, where she grew up and graduated from UC at Santa Barbara.
LACMA also announced today that it was naming as board co-chairman Terry Semel, the lavishly compensated former CEO of Yahoo and before that the longtime — and lavishly compensated — co-CEO of Warner Brothers, the film studio owned by Time-Warner, which of course also owns Time and therefore in some mysterious way owns this blog too.