The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced a $45 million gift from longtime supporters and art collectors Lynda and Stewart Resnick for a new exhibition pavilion. The Resnicks also have promised LACMA unspecified gifts of art valued at $10 million.
The gift, $25 million of which had been previously disclosed, will finance construction of a new building designed by architect Renzo Piano. To be named the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, the facility will be situated immediately north of the Piano-designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum, which opened in February. Construction of the pavilion, which is expected to open in mid-2010, marks the start of Phase II of the museum's plan to upgrade and unify its sprawling campus.
Michael Govan, LACMA's director and chief executive since 2006, told the Los Angeles Times that the new pavilion will contain forty-five thousand square feet of exhibition space that can be used to host traveling and special exhibitions, including some drawn from LACMA's own collections. And Lynda Resnick, who has served on the museum's board of trustees since 1992 and is chair of its acquisitions committee, noted the building "won't overwhelm the art [but] will enhance it."
Govan said he hoped the Resnicks' gift would build momentum for the ongoing expansion, which he described as necessary even in uncertain economic times. "I believe we're not expanding beyond our means relative to the scale of the city," said Govan. "We're playing catch-up."