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LACMA receives $50 million gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation for its Building LACMA campaign
Exterior view west toward the Resnick Pavilion, BCAM, and the Smidt Welcome Plaza, Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner/The Boundary.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Thanks to a leadership gift of $50 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation and gifts from other civic leaders, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced today that it is on track to raise $650 million for its Building LACMA campaign in support of its planned David Geffen Galleries. The goal to cover the $650 million cost of the building construction will be met by the end of February, with more than $640 million in commitments already made. Construction of the new building will begin at that time, as planned and on budget. In 2019, LACMA received unanimous approval for the building project and its environmental impact report from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and unanimous approval for the airspace vacation over Wilshire Boulevard from the Los Angeles City Council, clearing the way for construction. Early pre-construction site work, construction of temporary facilities, and abatement have begun, and groundbreaking for the David Geffen Galleries is on schedule for early 2020. With building costs covered, LACMA will now go out to the public to raise the final $100 million for additional needs.

The mission of the W.M. Keck Foundation, a major supporter of education initiatives throughout Southern California, dovetails with LACMA’s dedication to engaging a wide and diverse audience through art. LACMA’s education and public programs are a core part of the institution’s mission, and the museum has long offered one of the largest art education programs of any American art museum both in the museum and in communities. In honor of this gift, the new building will include several named spaces, including the W.M. Keck Plaza, the W.M. Keck Education Center, and a gallery in the Education Center.

“We are truly honored by the Keck Foundation’s extraordinary generosity in moving our building plan forward as we increase our broad outreach to communities,” said LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan. “Our community of donors is throwing their support behind our vision of how an art museum can nurture and celebrate our diverse city through historical and contemporary art from around the world.”

“The Keck Foundation strives to enrich the lives of Southern California residents and places special emphasis on children, youth, and their families. We are inspired by Michael’s vision of an art museum for all,” said Robert Day, Chair and CEO of the W.M. Keck Foundation. “Along with our new Keck Foundation co-presidents Joe Deegan Day and Stephen Keck, I am particularly excited about the museum’s goal of improving access to art and art education for Angelenos from all parts of our region for many years to come.”

Elaine Wynn and Tony Ressler, co-chairs of LACMA’s board of trustees, said, “We are tremendously grateful for the incredible donor, civic, and community support for our new building. The generosity of the Keck Foundation will help us serve our visitors and the artworks we hold in the public trust in the best possible way.”

“I am grateful to all the foundations and donors who are investing in this exciting reconceptualization of LACMA,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “These plans will make the County’s cultural assets more accessible to an even greater number of residents and visitors, and deepen Los Angeles’s reputation as a world-class and forward-thinking cultural capital.”

“The new LACMA not only marks the museum’s next great chapter, but what is next for the arts in our vibrant city and county,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark RidleyThomas. “I am proud to be an Angeleno at this time, and to witness a sustained outpouring of civic support for art, culture, and the growing creative economy.”

LACMA’s new building for the permanent collection, the David Geffen Galleries, is the final component of a decades-long plan to expand and improve the museum’s galleries and public space. Composed of seven semi-transparent pavilions that support a single elevated exhibition level with a floor-to-ceiling glass perimeter, the new building will replace four ailing buildings built in 1965 and 1987 and offer visitors new and innovative ways to experience LACMA’s vast encyclopedic collection and education and public programs. By the time this Peter Zumthor-designed building opens and joins the Bruce Goff-designed Pavilion for Japanese Art and Renzo Piano-designed BCAM and Resnick Pavilion, LACMA will have nearly doubled its exhibition space and programs since 2008 and added 3.5 acres of park and open outdoor space. The concept for more open park space, created by extending the building over Wilshire Boulevard to the existing parking lot on the southeast corner of Wilshire and Spaulding Avenue, was crafted in collaboration with the Natural History Museum to provide more access for paleontological research at the La Brea Tar Pits and for visitors in Hancock Park.

LACMA will remain open during the entirety of its construction project, exhibiting works from its permanent collection as well as loan exhibitions in the Renzo Piano-designed BCAM and Resnick Pavilion. The Smidt Welcome Plaza and Ray’s and Stark Bar will also remain open with LACMA’s full complement of outdoor programs, including Jazz at LACMA and Latin Sounds concerts. A temporary education space will accommodate continued on-site education activities.

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