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MoLAA gets $25-million endowment

March 5, 2009 | 12:30 pm

Gumbiner_2The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach has received a big boost to its long-term financial outlook with a $25-million endowment from the estate of its founder. Dr. Robert Gumbiner, a pioneer in managed healthcare, who established the museum in 1996 and died in January at 85, made the gift to help preserve his cultural legacy.

According to terms of the bequest, only the earnings of the endowment may be used to pay MoLAA's operating expenses and 10% of the earnings must be reinvested in the endowment. The museum will get additional support from a gift of the Robert Gumbiner Foundation, in an amount yet to be determined.

Money generated by the two endowments is expected to pay 35% to 40% of the museum's annual operating costs, currently $3.6 million. MoLAA must raise funds to cover the remaining 60% to 65%. A gala on April 25 will kick off a series of fundraising events.

Gumbiner, who became interested in Latin American art while traveling in the region, began buying art in the 1960s and decided to build a collection that would represent Latin American countries in proportion to their populations. He left the collection to his foundation, which is bound by a legal agreement with MoLAA, in perpetuity, to maintain and display the art. The museum currently houses a 1,000-piece collection that represents 20 countries.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

Photo: Dr. Robert Gumbiner at the Museum of Latin American Art. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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