“Four months after it became official, the demolition process is wrapping up at LACMA’s Miracle Mile campus.”
Demolition Nearly Finished for Controversial LACMA Revamp, by Steven Sharp, Urbanize, 24 September 2020
“Zumthor is seventy-seven, and oversees a thriving boutique architecture practice, with three dozen employees and projects on three continents. Though he has never built in the United States, he is known throughout Europe as the creator of exquisitely stern structures with jewel-box proportions; in 2009, he won the Pritzker Prize. lacma belongs to a vast public—the ten million people of Los Angeles County—and sees a million visitors each year. It shares a park with the La Brea Tar Pits paleontological site, and occupies a position at the midway point between downtown and the coast. Because of the building’s prominence, scale, and cost—some six hundred and fifty million dollars—Zumthor’s lacma is poised to be the most significant architectural addition to Los Angeles since Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall opened, two decades ago.”
The Iconoclast Remaking Los Angeles’s Most Important Museum, by Dana Goodyear, New Yorker, 05 October 2020
We. Are. So. Fucked. Also, if LACMA isn’t the largest encyclopedic museum west of the Mississippi, what is it?
“Asked recently at a dinner party what he thought of the new building design, Frank Gehry simply draped a napkin over his head.”
“The second is the demolition of the museum’s very mission. LACMA’s director, Michael Govan, has officiated over an aggressive proposal that will dismantle and relegate to storage collections that for decades have distinguished the museum and established its standing. Govan’s plan is at once grandiose and diminishing—and, above all, needless. The institution didn’t need fixing because it wasn’t fundamentally broken.”
The Demolition of LACMA: Art Sacrificed to Architecture, by Joseph Giovannini, NYR, 02 October 2020
Govan’s plan makes it so that going to LACMA won’t be like going home (as it’s always been) and finding a few new items. It will be like going to whatever carnival has just blown into town. Why did this grifter get a hold of our beloved LACMA? Why did not one with power stop this? Also, is a museum the building or the collection? Seems America has gone swanky building mad, and needs to get some perspective.
So many great artchitects who not only understand LA and like it, and we got Zumthor. Oh were have we sinned? Oh why must we suffer?
Well, too bad about LACMA. Even the best of friends have got to part one day.
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