PRINT Summer 2010

Ann Goldstein

WHEN I FIRST JOINED LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art as a volunteer in 1983, I wanted to be part of a museum of a sort that didn’t exist when I was an art student in Los Angeles in the late 1970s. Having only come to a consciousness of the contemporary art scene when I entered college in 1975, I had just missed the Pasadena Art Museum, which had been closed, for financial reasons, in 1974. (It reopened in 1975 as the Norton Simon Museum of Art, the Pasadena Museum’s holdings having been combined with Simon’s collection.) With the passing of that legendary institution, the absence of a museum devoted to contemporary art in Los Angeles was profoundly felt by artists and arts patrons alike, and that need was filled by the founding of MOCA in 1979.

LA MOCA was, from its inception, an artist-centered model: Vija Celmins, Sam Francis, Robert Irwin, Alexis Smith, and DeWain Valentine, all of whom

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