The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles plans to take on a five-year agreement with the National Gallery of Art in Washington to collaborate on “programming, research and exhibitions,” according to the National Gallery’s Chairman of the Board, John Wilmerding. The agreement, however, would not include any financial assistance which is arguably what the museum needs the most. News of this partnership follows an offer of $100 million from MOCA’s neighbouring institution, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the University of Southern California. Shane Ferro of Art Info writes that “MOCA is a poor museum with a rich history and a fantastic permanent collection” and maintains that it needs to bolster its finances, not its programming.
It is hoped that the agreement will assist to lift the museum’s reputation after the recent loss of its chief curator, board members and declining attendance figures. Eli Broad, one of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s biggest financial supporters who donated $16 million in 2008, had approached the National Gallery and asked for help. Broad is adamant that it remain independent, and has long opposed any partnership with the county museum.