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MOCA interested in taking over city's L.A. Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park

L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art is interested in running the city-owned Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Hollywood's Barnsdall Park, as the cash-starved city government tries to outsource eight arts facilities in hopes of saving about $1.3 million a year.

MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch has toured the 10,000-square-foot gallery with curators on his staff, said Olga Garay, executive director of the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. She expects MOCA to submit a proposal to run the venerable gallery, which was established in 1951 and has occupied its current hilltop building near Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House since the early 1970s. It would give the museum a geographical steppingstone between its two downtown facilities and its Westside outpost at the Pacific Design Center. MOCA officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Garay said the city would save between $400,000 and $500,000, including 31/2 fulltime positions that would be eliminated if MOCA takes over the gallery. The prospect of a large museum with a global outlook and reputation taking over does not sit well with Municipal Art Gallery supporters. 

They cherish its tradition of including Southern California artists who haven't gotten the broader art-world acclaim, which is typically a requisite for earning attention and exhibition space from high-flying institutions such as MOCA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Read the full story here.

-- Mike Boehm

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