BEVERLY HILLS—David Geffen pledged $150 million to the Los Angles County Museum of Art (LACMA) planned Zumthor building on Wednesday, October 4. The pledge is the largest single cash gift from an individual in the museum’s history.
“This historic commitment propels LACMA’s two-decade expansion and rebuilding project forward,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “David Geffen is one of Los Angeles’s, and our nation’s, most generous philanthropists. This gift, for which we are incredibly grateful, ensures that our new building becomes a reality. Pledges of this magnitude are incredibly rare, and David’s commitment demonstrates his belief in the power of art museums to reach a broad and diverse public and create significant civic benefit. ”
The Zumthor building, will be named the David Geffen Galleries and is $150 million away from the necessary $650 million needed to break ground and begin construction. The David Geffen Galleries, which will replace four of the museum’s seven current buildings, is intended to enable LACMA’s vast encyclopedic collection to be shown and experienced in innovative ways.
“I am excited to see the positive effects this new building will have on Los Angeles’s art and architectural communities. This innovative addition to the LACMA campus will ensure ongoing and expanded access to their permanent collection. LACMA will be able to touch millions of lives and create an even healthier and more vibrant community for everyone,” said Geffen.
He continued, “At a time when federal funding for the arts is threatened, it’s important that we foster public-private partnerships, like this one, to support arts and cultural institutions. We must ensure that the public, everyone, has access to these venerable institutions. I am proud to partner with the County and other members of the community in helping LACMA move this remarkable project from vision to reality. Together, we can and must make sure every person has access to the arts.”
The building was originally designed to resemble the tar from the nearby La Brea Tar Pits, but has been updated and changed. It will bridge Wilshire Boulevard. If the funds are secured, the proposed project will officially break ground in 2019. The building is expected to be finished by 2023 if the timeline is not delayed.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax Avenue) in Los Angeles. For additional information call (323) 857-6000 or visit www.lacma.org.