Marciano Was Planning Exhibitions for 2020 When It Closed

Barbara Kruger, untitled, 1987. Collection of Marciano Art Foundation
In Hyperallergenic Jennifer Remenchik quotes Marciano Art Foundation visitor associate Izzy Johnson: "It's clear they were not planning to shut down immediately. They were planning stuff for Frieze and collecting children's drawings that were going to be used in a show premiering in February." [Frieze Los Angeles is also in February.]

This is worth noting, for MAF's official story—that the institution closed for low attendance—has gotten surprising traction. While everyone appreciates that the unionization move triggered the closure, many take the Marcianos at their word that attendance was unusually low. Ergo, it was only a matter of time, and unionization was simply the "last straw."

In my experience the Marciano always had respectable crowds. (Whereas I've occasionally been to a near-deserted MOCA or Hammer, and those are very much going concerns). The fact that the MAF was planning exhibitions for February 2020 is further evidence that the low-attendance story is gaslighting.
Nearly full parking lot at MAF
At left, line to enter Ai Weiwei installation at MAF, Nov. 19, 2018


Anonymous said…
Interesting. I wonder how much of the wealth of the Marcianos is tied up in paper and isn't as liquid as one would think?

Although a few their artworks' cash value equal the amount of bucks they'd have to shell out to keep the museum running - and paying their staffers - they apparently wanted to keep the art instead of continue funding the museum.

The now-shuttered Pasadena Museum of California Art, run by people (the Robert Oltmans) living in the top floor of their museum, likely experienced a lot of their own liquidity being drained faster than projected or they wanted.

In terms of wealth, the Marcianos (clothes manufacturers) probably are a lot closer in stature to the Oltmans than they are to the Broads or certainly a J Paul Getty or Norton Simon. Or the Henry Huntingtons.

As for Michael Govan and LACMA?