UC Irvine Museum Gets $$$ and a New Name
|Oskar Fischinger, Triangles/Blue Triangles, 1949. Buck Collection at UCI Institute and Museum of California Art|
UC Irvine’s long-planned art museum moved closer to reality with the announcement of an undisclosed financial gift from Jack and Shanaz Langson. The museum is to be called the Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art (LIMCA? The Langson?) A location is expected to be announced in spring 2022. The new museum will house the two large collections donated in the mid 2010s: the Irvine Museum's trove of California Impressionism (assembled by Joan Irvine Smith) and the Gerald E. Buck collection of California Modernism.
Jack Langson is a real estate developer, president of the Newport Beach-based Investment Building Group. His name is already on one of UC Irvine's libraries.
This is welcome news, as an art museum for UCI Irvine has been stuck in the planning stages since 1962. The fact that they're not saying how much the Langsons donated ("at the couple's request") makes it hard to say much more than that. It remains unclear whether the museum is now a slam-dunk, or whether this is just the first step in a long fund-raising road (and they're already used the naming opportunity). It's also unclear how ambitious the new museum will be. Back in 2018 the university was envisioning a 100,000 sf facility with 45,000 sf of exhibition space: nearly the size of the Broad. A California architect was expected to be named by 2019 (didn't happen).
(The Fischinger at top of post is featured in "The Resonant Surface: Movement, Image, and Sound in California Painting," through Feb. 12, 2022, at the UCI museum's interim location, 18881 Von Karman Ave., Suite 100, Irvine.)