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OCMA, other museums say Rothschild Foundation hasn't paid grant money

January 13, 2010 |  2:32 pm


Several museums and art institutions, including the Orange County Museum of Art, are saying that the Judith Rothschild Foundation has failed to make good on 17 grants awarded for 2009.

The total amount of money in question reportedly amounts to more than $100,000. Some of the arts organizations have filed a formal complaint to the New York attorney general's office.

A spokeswoman for OCMA said today that it has received a letter from the foundation stating that the grant money will be paid. The museum added that its grant from the foundation was for $4,000 and is intended to go toward costs associated with the works of Florence Miller Pierce in an exhibition titled "Illumination."

"We now expect that we will receive the money," said the spokeswoman. OCMA was not one of the institutions to file a complaint with the New York attorney general's office, according to the spokeswoman. 

Also among the museums left in the lurch is the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach

The museum was supposed to receive $5,000 from the foundation toward the catalog that will accompany the exhibition "Resistance/Reactions: A Michael Goldberg Retrospective."

"It all seems a little unusual, but appears they will come through," said Christopher Scoates, the museum's director, when asked about the foundation's non-payment. 

He said he also received a letter today from the foundation, dated Jan. 6, in which its head makes reference to a recent personal injury as well as layoffs at the New York organization.

The Long Beach museum also said it was not one of the institutions to complain to the New York attorney general's office.

Attempts to reach the foundation at its New York phone number were unsuccessful, as the number appears to have been disconnected.

In an article in the New York Times, Harvey S. Shipley Miller, the foundation's trustee, stated that the 2009 grants would be paid within the next 30 days.

Other arts institutions that were supposed to receive grant money from the foundation include: the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation ($5,000); the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art ($5,000); the estate of Emilio Cruz ($7,000); the Delaware Art Museum ($10,000); the Sam Glankoff Collection ($10,000); and the Drawing Center ($7,000). 

-- David Ng

Photo: credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images