Following a $50 million gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum LACMA) is getting closer to reaching its $650 million fundraising goal for the construction of its new building. While $640 million in contributions have already been made, the museum hopes to raise an additional $100 million from the public. In an announcement on Friday, LACMA said that it expects to meet its goal by the end of February.
In recognition of the gift, which is the largest private commitment following the $150 million donation made by David Geffen in 2017, the new building will include several spaces named after the foundation—a major supporter of educational initiatives throughout Southern California—including the W.M. Keck Plaza, the W.M. Keck Education Center, and a gallery in the Education Center.
“We are truly honored by the Keck Foundation’s extraordinary generosity in moving our building plan forward as we increase our broad outreach to communities,” said LACMA CEO and director Michael Govan. “Our community of donors is throwing their support behind our vision of how an art museum can nurture and celebrate our diverse city through historical and contemporary art from around the world.”
Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Peter Zumthor, LACMA’s new home will be named the David Geffen Galleries and will house the museum’s permanent collection. To make way for the structure, which will straddle Wilshire Boulevard, four of the institution’s existing structures will be razed. Once completed, LACMA’s Zumthor building will consist of seven semi-transparent pavilions that support a single elevated exhibition level with a floor-to-ceiling glass perimeter.
While some critics have raised doubts over whether the building’s new layout will serve the needs of an encyclopedic museum and expressed concerns after revisions to the design, the new construction will nearly double its exhibition space and add 3.5 acres of open outdoor space. The museum plans to break ground on the structure next month and said that it will aim to open the building in 2024. LACMA will remain open during the entirety of the construction project, and will exhibit works from its permanent collection as well as loans in its Renzo Piano-designed–BCAM and Resnick Pavilion.
Commenting on the project, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas said, “The new LACMA not only marks the museum’s next great chapter, but what is next for the arts in our vibrant city and county. I am proud to be an Angeleno at this time, and to witness a sustained outpouring of civic support for art, culture, and the growing creative economy.”