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MOCA board adds major philanthropist Wallis Annenberg

September 27, 2011 |  7:08 pm

Wallis Annenberg in 2009
L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art announced Tuesday that one of the city’s most active and influential philanthropists, Wallis Annenberg, has joined its board.

Since 2009 she has led the charitable foundation established by her father, Walter Annenberg, whose publishing empire included TV Guide and Seventeen magazine. 

According to her bio on the Annenberg Foundation’s website, Annenberg’s other L.A. affiliations as a board member or key donor include (starting from the beach and moving inland): the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica; the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City; the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts that’s under construction in Beverly Hills;  the Los Angeles County Museum of Art;  USC and its Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education;  the California Science Center and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park;  and the Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  She’s also on the board of  New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The Annenberg Foundation had assets of $1.4 billion in mid-2010; it issued $42.6 million in grants in 2009-10.

With the addition of Annenberg, 71, and another new member, Belgian developer Laurent Degryse (now a resident of L.A.), MOCA says it now has 52 board members, doubling the number who remained early in 2009 after the museum’s financial meltdown and subsequent bailout by Eli Broad. Repopulating and strengthening the board has been crucial to the rebuilding process.

During the crisis, nine members left MOCA's board and a 10th took a leave of absence. Charles Young, the former UCLA chancellor whom Broad recruited to help clean up the mess, characterized the board as having become “very dysfunctional” during the 2008 tailspin and wracked by “antagonism, resentment, feelings of betrayal.”

In other cultural board news, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced last week that David Bohnett, whose three-year term as chairman of its board was about to expire, will serve a fourth year. He is the founder of the GeoCities website.


USC to announce two donations totaling $100 million

$25-million gift to museum announced

MOCA has gifts, officers, trustees; pronounces finances fixed

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Wallis Annenberg speaking at an awards ceremony in 2009. Credit: Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation Institute