UCLA’s Hammer Museum announced the amount of their latest donations. It reached 50 million dollars. Renowned TV producer Marcy Carsey brings 20 million dollars which add up to the 30 million donated by the billionaire couple Lynda and Stewart Resnick. The contemporary Art scene of Los Angeles has been shaking up since the multiplication of record investments.
The Hammer Museum and its generous donors
In an unexpected announcement, TV producer Marcy Carsey, known for “The Cosby Show” and “3rd Rock From the Sun”, confirmed her 20 million dollars donation to the Hammer Museum of the Los Angeles based university UCLA. In fact, until now, this rich business woman focused mainly on organizations dedicated to education and gender equality. On top of her 20 million dollars, an additional donation of 30 million was provided by Lynda and Stewart Resnick. They founded POM Wonderful, specialized in anti-oxidant fruit beverages and Fiji Water. Their donation is specifically dedicated to the renovation of the museum. Indeed, the Hammer Museum aims at raising 180 million dollars for a renovation project that would enable the museum to increase its exhibition space surface by 60%. The main building will be named after billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick. It will reinforce the promotion efforts for contemporary Artists supported by the museum.
The transformation of the Los Angeles contemporary Art scene
The strong networks of American museums enable them to function thanks to private donations. Indeed, the existing philantropic system is determining in the country’s capacity to support international Artists and promote them. Nonetheless, many disparities remain. Effectively, even though some cities such as New York intensely use this system, others have not yet succeeded in building a philanthropic tradition specifically dedicated to contemporary Art. As a result, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Director Micheal Govan said to the New York Times: “we’re almost a 100 years behind New York (…). Philanthropy is growing as institutions are growing.” Nevertheless, the most recent donations that are worth several million dollars shine a light on a new era of philanthropy for the city of Los Angeles.
A series of unexpected donations
The recent donations to the Hammer Museum are part of a booming philanthropic context in Los Angeles. In fact, filmmaker Georges Lucas, for instance, recently stated he wanted to finance a Museum of Narrative Art for 1 billion dollars. On the same note, music mogul David Geffen promised 150 million dollars to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The global Fine Arts market is looking at the Californian city. In fact, the Frieze announced they would open a new branch of its contemporary international Art fair in 2019. The Fundraising policies of several institutions in the city are adapting to the new artistic dynamic. Effectively, for instance, even the J.Paul Getty Trust, the wealthiest artistic institution in the world with its 6.9 billion dollars, started to solicit individual donations from its members.
Read our article about the new European regulations regarding personal data protection and their impact on the Fine Arts market here.