ARTS & CULTURE
03/07/2013 06:26 pm ET

LACMA MOCA Merger: LA County Museum of Art Offers To Acquire Museum Of Contemporary Art

The LA Times released the scoop of scoops today, announcing LACMA's formal offer to acquire MOCA.

The LACMA offer could save the floundering institution, which, according to Roberta Smith at the New York Times, has been "more or less on life-support" since billionaire Eli Broad bailed out the facility in 2008.

Additionally, the once flourishing museum found itself at the center of controversy and critical scorn this year after chief curator Paul Schimmel left after 22 years on the job. After choosing not to fill the position, leadership fell to former New York gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, who was quickly accused of dumbing down the established museum with his populist mentality.

After a string of celebrity-centric shows which irked critics, artists John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha all resigned from the board, leaving no artists left to speak out against the inner workings of the museum.

According to the LA Times, LACMA Director Michael Govan penned a letter to MOCA board co-chairs on February 24, offering to raise $100 million for the museums' two locations in exchange for the acquisition. This is not the first time LACMA has proposed a merger, however; Govan posed a similar offer in 2008 prior to the Broad bailout.)

In a statement released today on LACMA's blog, Govan explained the vision behind the LACMA/MOCA merger:

"LACMA’s strong leadership, its history of fundraising, and its support from Los Angeles County and other donors will provide MOCA with the stability it deserves... Combining MOCA and LACMA would create one of the largest and most significant art museum collections in the United States."

What are your thoughts about the possible creation of a Los Angeles super-museum? Will the days of Deitch-bashing come to an end if this deal goes through? We scoured Twitter to find the best reactions to the huge news; take a look and let us know your opinion in the comments.

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