Geffen Pledges $150M to LACMA

Ruben Hill
October 5, 2017

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced today that philanthropist and entertainment executive David Geffen has pledged $150 million toward the museum's new galleries.

In 2016, Geffen himself pledged a $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art in NY, but setting aside folks like Eli Broad or George Lucas who put money into their own museums to primarily display personal collections, the last time anyone other than Geffen wrote a check like this was Andrew Mellon back in 1937, when he donated millions to construct the National Gallery of Art.

Geffen's pledge puts LACMA's fundraising total at $450 million, bringing it closer to the goal of $650 million needed to break ground on a modernist Peter Zumthor building.

"We are so grateful for Mr. Geffen's philanthropic support, which is the largest single cash pledge from an individual in LACMA's history and one of the largest-ever pledges to an art museum", Michael Govan, the museum's director, said in a statement. "I love art, I love L.A. and I could do it, so I did". This innovati ve addition to the LACMA campus will ensure ongoing and expanded access to their permanent collection.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas called the Geffen gift a "game-changer" for the museum and "an inspiring example of how private philanthropists can partner with public institutions to expand architectural and artistic horizons for everyone".

"That a city that has as many wealthy individuals who've made a fortune in NY - that they couldn't show up and support the most important cultural institution in NY, I think is too bad and shameful", Geffen said. 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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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