Main Museum Closes

Los Angeles Downtown News is reporting that the Main Museum has closed, and no one involved is saying much about it. It's not clear whether the closure is permanent, but I'd say it doesn't look good. Main director Allison Agsten and other staffers departed last month. An alliance with the Art Center College of Design, intended to bolster finances, seems not to have been sufficient.

The news follows last year's similarly abrupt closure of the Pasadena Museum of California Art (and both in a flush economy). If there's a moral, maybe it's this: Don't start your own museum unless you're prepared to fund it in perpetuity. Both PMCA and the Main were in the difficult position of raising operating funds for quirky new museums, filling an uncertain niche, and existing only because individual founders had decreed them.


Anonymous said…
This is unfortunate although not really surprising. With the Hammer, Marciano Foundation, The Broad, MOCA and ICA LA (the last three in DTLA) already open, it seems that LA already has sufficient capacity to display contemporary art. What niche was the Main Museum trying to serve? Nonetheless, I was looking forward to the renovation of the 3 Main buildings. It'll be cool if an existing museum like LACMA or the Getty could open a satellite location here. LACMA is still trying to attract donors for its expansion, so that's unlikely. Maybe the Getty could expand here? They have a significant collection of photography holdings that always seemed at odds with their European art collection.

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