LA
03/02/2012 12:41 pm ET

Cameron Silver MOCA: Was It A Conflict Of Interest?

As we previously reported, the MOCA Pacific Design Center is currently hosting “The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton.”

The exhibition features Claxton's original photographs of Peggy Moffitt dressed in Gernreich's icon designs -- as well as about fifty of the original mod outfits modeled by mannequins.

Cameron Silver, owner of the vintage clothing store DECADES was brought on as guest curator. The Los Angeles Times brings up the question of a conflict of interest in a blog post published earlier today:

If an art museum organized an exhibition of paintings and engaged a gallery owner as guest curator, the conflict of interest would be obvious. Even if the art dealer didn't represent any of the painters in the show, the perception of inappropriate commercial entanglements would be the same.

So, what if an art museum opens an exhibition of vintage clothing whose guest curator owns a vintage clothing store? Does the same conflict arise?

Of course it does. But, disappointingly, that didn't stop the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Yet, Cameron Silver is not only the owner of the well-known store, he is also a highly respected fashion archivist and historian. Does this change the debate? We want to know what you think. Take our poll and let us know.

View images, courtesy of Patrick McMullan Company, from the exhibition's opening night below:

-

CONVERSATIONS