LACMA to Receive $75 Million, the Largest Single Pledge in Its History

The $75 million gift is going toward the museum's expansion.

Architect Peter Zumthor's LACMA expansion plan. Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner.
Architect Peter Zumthor's LACMA expansion plan. Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has received a major boost to its fundraising efforts for its proposed $600 million expansion project, in the form of a combined $75 million gift from art collector and museum co-chair Elaine Wynn and Los Angeles billionaire collector A. Jerrold Perenchio.

The donations, $50 million from Wynn and $25 million from Perenchio, bring LACMA close to the half-way point in its fundraising efforts. Their generosity will go a long ways toward silencing the doubts of those who thought the museum’s goal was unachievable. To date, the museum has financial commitments totaling $275 million, including $125 million from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The rest is expected to come from private donations.

Elaine Wynn. Courtesy of photographer Jonathon Ziegler, © Patrick McMullan.

Elaine Wynn. Courtesy of photographer Jonathon Ziegler, © Patrick McMullan.

“There has been quite a bit of work to get the project to this point,” LACMA director and chief executive Michael Govan told the New York Times. “These two gifts together are the largest single pledge to a cultural institution in LA.”

With her ex-husband, art collector Steve Wynn, Elaine Wynn co-founded the Mirage and Wynn Resorts. She has been a LACMA board member since 2011, and its co-chair since 2015. The promised gift from Perenchio, a former Univision chairman who helped launch Elton John’s career, follows his November 2014 pledge to donate $500 million in art to the museum.

“Everything that is new and fun and earth-shattering is happening in LA, and we want to be the bellwether of all that energy,” Wynn told the Los Angeles Times. She credits Perenchio’s initial donation for inspiring her to give: “He was the first one to have the guts and nerve to make the commitment. He deserves all the credit.”

Claude Monet, Nymphéas (1905). One of the paintings donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art by A. Jerrold Perenchio. Photo: courtesy the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Claude Monet, Nymphéas (1905). One of the paintings donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art by A. Jerrold Perenchio. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Other recent gifts to the institution, which turned 50 last year, include Jane and Marc Nathanson’s estimated $50 million gift of eight modern and contemporary works of art by the likes of Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, and four paintings donated by Lynda and Stewart Resnick.

The museum’s Peter Zumthor-designed building plan, which was previously revamped to avoid affecting the nearby La Brea Tar Pits, will replace four of the museum’s seven buildings.

Work is slated to begin in mid-to-late 2018, but must first receive public approval and pass an environmental review, scheduled for this summer. Wynn and Perenchio’s pledges are contingent on the expansion getting the final go-ahead from the city. If this happens, the finished project could welcome visitors in 2023.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics