LACMA Partners on Las Vegas Museum

KTNV Las Vegas is reporting that LACMA and the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation are involved in plans for a proposed $150 million Las Vegas Museum of Art. Collector Elaine Wynn, who is co-chair of LACMA's Board of Trustees, spoke on the museum project at the Dec. 6th Las Vegas City Council meeting. KTNV's Anjali Patel reports that Wynn said "the problem in the past [with Las Vegas museum proposals] was not having enough art for the space. To ensure that's not a problem this time around, Wynn said they've partnered with LACMA. They plan to have a 'rigorous program' with exhibition spaces that are constantly rotating."

That sounds like they're planning on LACMA lending art to the Las Vegas museum. In 2016 Wynn pledged $50 million to LACMA's Peter Zumthor-designed David Geffen Galleries (a building that has been faulted for  having insufficient space for the permanent collection). The Las Vegas Museum is projected to be 60,000 to 90,000 sf, as compared to 387,500 sf for the David Geffen Galleries. The proposed museum would have three stories, vs. one for the Geffen—a factor in the latter's relatively modest square footage. 

Heather Harmon, a representative for the proposed museum, said that Las Vegas is the largest U.S. city without a standalone art museum. An unrelated Las Vegas Art Museum closed in 2009 after struggling to attract visitors and financial support. A sparsely attended Guggenheim-Hermitage Las Vegas outpost operated from 2001 to 2008.

Guggenheim-Hermitage outpost at the Venetian Las Vegas resort. Photo: Miss O'Crazy, New York


Anonymous said…
Assuming an operation in Vegas picks up all the costs, it may make more sense to have some of LACMA's collection exhibited at a satellite location in the desert instead of neighborhoods throughout LA County.

However, Michael Govan and his board of trustees have promoted the idea that underserved taxpayers in LA County need easier access to LACMA than the site in mid-Wilshire. Although the museum's collections aren't gargantuan (or gold-plated from A to Z), and even more so since the Zumthor structure is smaller than the old footprint, it makes sense to have fewer objects in storage. But since LACMA's budget is already being busted, a satellite in Las Vegas instead of East LA, etc, might be better.

On the other hand, most visitors go to Vegas for gambling, conventions and new attractions like the Sphere, not as much for arts and culture. Also, if museums in LA aren't drawing exactly Louvre-size crowds, a museum in Sin City may be even iffier.

However, a train is being proposed between LA and Vegas, so just as a new train now running from Miami to Orlando is making access easier for people in the two locations, the future may be similar on the West Coast. Still, Louvre World (and other museums) in Orlando, France blows out of the water the theme parks in Orlando, casinos in Vegas and museums in Los Angeles. So stretching the resources in the Southwest US even further may not be what the doctor just ordered.
Anonymous said…
I wonder what LACMA is getting out of this
Anonymous said…
^^^ Some monetary consideration...
Anonymous said…
LACMA should be getting some money put of it, and I guess a way to show off more of its collection