The news this week that billionaire art collector Eli Broad has decided not to give any of his 2,000-piece collection to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where a building bearing his name will open with great fanfare next month, was sort of like hearing that a terminal patient died. You know in your heart it's coming, but expectation does nothing to minimize being nonplused when it does.
Sometimes reality's bluntness does that. Overnight, LACMA became the museum equivalent of Hillary Rodham Clinton. After a buoyant year and a half, the air suddenly went out of the soufflé.