The Easel

Has LACMA lost its way?

Controversy over the new building of the Los Angeles County museum is spectacular. Critics are apoplectic about cost and diminished options for displaying the permanent collection. A major donor has jumped ship. Apart from the merits of the building, bigger issues are at play. Should museums try to be encyclopedic? Should donors’ wishes be prioritised? Says an aggrieved donor “Once that wrecking ball starts to hit the buildings, there’s no turning back”.