On a day when U.S. stocks lost billions of dollars in value, one museum got a little richer.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) at a press conference today announced a $55 million gift from Los Angeles–based philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick, including $45 million for a new art pavilion designed by architect Renzo Piano.
The newly-unveiled Resnick Pavilion will be a single-story, glass-and-stone structure sited just north of Piano’s Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM), which opened last February. The 45,000-square-foot building, whose floor plate will be larger than BCAM’s, is expected to open by 2010. Its form will complement BCAM’s, with its glass roof, tilted skylights, travertine marble surfaces, and flexible open plan.
Mr. Resnick is owner of Roll International Corporation, a Los Angeles-based company that owns, among other things, Fiji Water, Pom juices, and the Teleflora flower delivery service. He has also pledged to donate art pieces worth $10 million, although those works have not been disclosed. Resnick had originally pledged to donate $25 million for a new entrance pavilion for the museum, but that plan changed when British Petroleum stepped in to fund the structure.
The new pavilion has been planned for some time, but its design had not yet been unveiled, and its primary funding had not yet been secured. The building will be a centerpiece of the museum’s second expansion stage, meant to help further enlarge and unify the museum’s fairly scattered campus. LACMA announced its overall expansion, called Tranformation, in 2005, and completed that plan’s first stage with BCAM. Other expansion plans include the renovation of LACMA West, inside the former May Company department store; art installations around the LACMA campus; and a major renovation of the east side of the campus. At the press conference, LACMA Director Michael Govan hinted that additional changes could even include tearing down existing LACMA structures to help further consolidate the campus.