LACMA Cancels Weekend Film Program; Louvre to Unveil English-Language Database

The weekend film program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—which has continued over thirty-seven years—is going away in November, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The chronically underfunded program has lost about one million dollars over the past ten years, and the audience has diminished, partly because many people are watching films at home, says Michael Govan, the museum's director. During the last fiscal year, 22,754 people attended films at LACMA, including 6,228 at its Tuesday matinees, which will continue.

The demise, Govan says, is “a pause for rethinking” while the staff creates a more adventurous program, attuned to LACMA's mission, and finds donors to support it.

Efforts to raise funds for the existing program have been unsuccessful, Govan says, so it's necessary “to shake people up a little bit and ask how we are going to arrange the museum's priorities. “Now is the time, he says, “to take stock of where film sits in the development of recent art. I have a firm belief that the history of twentieth-century art will be rewritten in terms of film and photography.”

In other news, the Louvre plans to announce today that it will make an English-language version of its online database available on its website, according to the New York Times. The announcement was made in a news release by the group American Friends of the Louvre, which provided a $380,000 grant for the database. The database, called Atlas, will provide information on twenty-two thousand works of art from the Louvre, as well as high-resolution images and the locations of works and galleries within the museum. That represents about 80 percent of the works available on the French-language version of Atlas, which catalogs twenty-six thousand of the thirty-five thousand works on permanent display at the Louvre.