LACMA’s Acquisitions Group and Art Council members share a deep affinity for the arts and a sense of inspiration and personal fulfillment through their philanthropic support of specific curatorial departments at LACMA. Members enjoy connecting with curatorial staff and like-minded art enthusiasts through a variety of stimulating, thoughtful, and entertaining programs.
Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA, by Stefanie Keenan
LACMA’s art councils have a long and important history of supporting art acquisitions, programs, and special projects and priorities for the museum’s curatorial departments. Each council directly supports one or more curatorial departments within the museum, and in appreciation, council members are welcomed to programs that offer in-depth experiences related to their chosen area(s).
Joining an art council offers the opportunity to build camaraderie with like-minded peers and share experiences in pursuit of connoisseurship, including exhibition walkthroughs, curator conversations, behind-the-scenes experiences, gallery conversations, and other programs linked to the department.
Annual dues: $1,000
A Friend-level museum membership ($300) or above is required to join Art Councils at LACMA.
Art of the Middle East: CONTEMPORARY (AMEC) supports the Art of the Middle East department at LACMA. At present, LACMA is the only major American museum that actively collects and exhibits contemporary art of the Middle East. The department has recently established a first-rate contemporary art collection, which continues to grow in size and scope thanks to acquisitions support from Art of the Middle East: CONTEMPORARY dues.
AMEC members enjoy exclusive programs throughout the year including invitations to lectures and panel discussions, curator-led tours of special exhibitions, and more. Programs offered for members incorporate the full range of the department’s collecting areas, from ancient times to the present day.
AMEC is led by Linda Komaroff, curator and department head, Art of the Middle East.
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Image: Parviz Tanavoli, Lion and Sword III, 1976, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Hope Warschaw through the 2018 Collectors Committee, courtesy of the artist, © Parviz Tanavoli, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
The Asian Art Council (AAC) provides essential support to the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South and Southeast Asian art departments at LACMA.
Chinese art was one of the first areas collected by the museum. LACMA’s collection spans more than 4,000 years and features extraordinary works ranging from ancient jade carvings to contemporary video and photography.
The museum’s collection of Japanese art dates from approximately 3000 BCE to the present. Particular strengths include Buddhist and Shinto sculpture, painting and calligraphy from the 12th century, prints, ceramics, cloisonné, and a rich array of the miniature sculptures known as netsuke.
The Korean art collection began with the donation of a group of Korean ceramics in 1966 by the president of the Republic of Korea. In 2000 LACMA acquired over 200 additional artworks dating from the Three Kingdoms, Goryeo, and Joseon periods, including paintings, ceramics, lacquers, and sculptures.
The South and Southeast Asian art collection consists of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art from India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. The collection is especially notable for its early Tibetan and Nepalese paintings, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts.
AAC members enjoy stimulating lectures, curator-led exhibition tours, basement excavations with scholars in the field, invitations to opening previews for Asian art exhibitions, and more.
AAC is led by Stephen Little, Florence & Harry Sloan Curator of Chinese Art and department head, Chinese, Korean, and South and Southeast Asian Art; and Robert T. Singer, curator and department head of Japanese Art.
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Image: Guan Huai, Daoist Temples at Dragon Tiger Mountain (Longhu Shan), Qing Dynasty, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Shane Walls, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Internationally recognized as one of the premier collections of costume and textiles in the world, the Costume and Textiles department is the only curatorial subgroup at LACMA that houses an encyclopedic collection. With over 35,000 objects representing more than 100 cultures and over 2,000 years of dress and human creativity in the textile arts, the collection spans works from pre-Columbian textiles to contemporary couture.
In addition to its rich holdings, the department is committed to sharing its collection and scholarship with the public through its Doris Stein Research Center and with exhibitions and publications such as Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015, which debuted at LACMA in April 2016, won a national award and traveled to Sydney, Australia.
Costume Council programs include lectures by well-known authors, curators, and designers, as well as exhibition previews and book-signings. In addition, members enjoy private tours of local studios, boutiques, galleries, local museum exhibitions, and behind-the-scenes access at LACMA.
Costume Council is led by Sharon S. Takeda, senior curator and department head of Costume and Textiles.
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Image: Man's Suit (detail), Europe, circa 1800, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. John Jewett Garland, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Established in 1975, LACMA's Decorative Arts and Design Council (DADC) supports acquisitions for the museum’s renowned collection of decorative arts and design. The department oversees more than 7,000 objects ranging from medieval Europe and 18th-century America to the present, with exceptional strengths in 20th-century and California design. While acquisitions are the main focus, council dues also support special projects such as exhibitions and publications.
DADC members receive invitations to thought-provoking lectures on decorative arts and design, curator-led tours of special exhibitions, private gallery and studio visits, excursions to see Southern California design, and more.
DADC is led by Wendy Kaplan, curator and department head, and the curators of the Decorative Arts and Design department.
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Image: Marcel Lajos Breuer, Isokon Furniture Co. Ltd., Long Chair, designed 1935-1936, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by the Decorative Arts and Design Council Fund 2008, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department comprises more than 19,000 photographic works, spanning from the medium's invention in 1839 to the present. In addition to gelatin-silver prints and chromogenic-development prints, the collection includes examples of 19th-century cased images, 20th-century experimental processes, and images that are created, manipulated, and/or printed digitally.
LENS: Photography Council (LENS) supports the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and offers members a unique way to engage with curators and the most exciting local talent in photography. Members join the curators on studio visits with emerging Los Angeles-based photographers, culminating in annual acquisitions for the museum’s permanent collection. Studio visits for the 2020-2021 year of LENS included Dannielle Bowman, David Gilbert, Trang Tran, and Torbjørn Rodland.
LENS is led by Britt Salvesen, curator and department head; Rebecca Morse, curator; and the curators of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department.
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Image: Anthony Lepore, Mirage, 2015, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by the LENS: Photography Council, 2015, © Anthony Lepore, digital image courtesy of the artist.
The Modern and Contemporary Art Council (MCAC) supports the acquisition of Modern and Contemporary art for LACMA. Members are part of a community of collectors and enjoy programs that develop and enhance their understanding of Modern and Contemporary art. Founded in 1961 as the Contemporary Art Council, MCAC is one of the longest-standing support groups for modern and contemporary art in the country and has been the premier educational program for collectors and admirers of worldwide cutting-edge art for six decades. The Council’s educational programs include exclusive private tours and conversations in galleries and at the museum with renowned and emerging artists, noted critics, curators, and art historians.
LACMA’s Modern art collection features strong holdings in German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and art made in Southern California. It includes important works that span the 20th century by artists such as Jay DeFeo, David Hockney, Lee Krasner, Ellsworth Kelly, Wifredo Lam, René Magritte, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Ed Ruscha, Betye Saar, Kurt Schwitters, and Frank Stella. Significant acquisitions have included David Bright’s 1967 bequest of 23 paintings by František Kupka, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and others; MCAC members Michael and Dorothy Blankfort’s generous gift of their extensive collection in 1999; MCAC member Robert Halff’s 2005 donation of 35 works including remarkable examples by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Miró; and 130 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the Janice and Henri Lazarof Collection, with works by Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Léger, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, and Picasso.
The current installation of the Modern art galleries features many artworks acquired through the MCAC including exceptional examples of works by Maren Hassinger, Jacob Lawrence, Joan Miró, Pierre Roy, Lee Bontecou, Yayoi Kusama, Chris Burden, Roy Lichtenstein, Joe Ray, Andy Warhol, Wallace Berman, Franklin Williams, Betye Saar, and Edward Keinholz. Selected works from the American art, Decorative Arts & Design, and Latin American art holdings, including examples by Ruth Asawa, Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres-García, and Idelle Weber, are also on view.
The new home of the Modern art collection is located in the BCAM, Level 3, galleries, which were redesigned in collaboration with Gehry Partners, LLP.
MCAC is led by Stephanie Barron, senior curator and department head of Modern Art, Carol S. Eliel, senior curator of Modern Art, along with Katia Zavistovski, assistant curator of Modern Art.
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Image: Lawrence Weiner, Deep Blue Sky, 2002, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Modern and Contemporary Art Council Fund, © 2017 Lawrence Weiner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo © Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Established in 1965, the Prints and Drawings Council (PDC) supports the Prints and Drawings department at LACMA. In addition to raising funds for acquisitions for the museum's permanent collection, the PDC encourages collecting, scholarship, and appreciation in the field of original works of art on paper, which comprise a significant portion of the museum’s holdings.
LACMA’s prints and drawings collection consists of about 30,000 works from Western Europe and America, ranging from some of the earliest examples of printing in the 15th century to contemporary graphics, with a special emphasis on Southern California artworks since 1960. Highlights include works by Dürer, Rembrandt, and Goya; Ensor and Toulouse-Lautrec; Matisse and Picasso; Baldessari, Moses, and Ruscha; Lita Albuquerque, Gego, and Analia Saban; and significant or complete holdings of L.A.-based print workshops Edition Jacob Samuel, Gemini G.E.L, Hamilton Press, Lapis Press, and Self Help Graphics.
PDC offers many opportunities for members to learn more about a historical range of prints and drawings, from the connoisseurship of Old Master prints to modern and contemporary works on paper by well-known artists. Members enjoy programs throughout the year including exclusive curator-led lectures and walkthroughs of exhibitions, visits to artists’ studios and print workshops, and private collection tours.
PDC is led by Britt Salvesen, curator and department head, and the curators of the Prints and Drawings department.
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Image: Antonio da Trento, after Parmigianino, Martyrdom of Two Saints, c. 1527-30, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Prints and Drawings Council Fund. Photo by Yosi Pozeilov, LACMA Conservation Center
LACMA's Acquisitions Groups are essential to sustaining the museum's reputation as a world-class arts institution. Over the course of the museum's 50 years, these groups have acquired or helped acquire nearly 400 works of art for the museum, including some of its most iconic masterpieces.
Held in public trust for future generations, the museum’s collection attracts international visitors and local audiences alike, ensuring that all can enjoy lifelong relationships with works of art.
A Friend-level museum membership ($300) or above is required to join; a Curator’s Circle membership is recommended.
Art Here and Now: Studio Forum (AHAN) is a collectors’ group which focuses on emerging Los Angeles-based artists. AHAN members join LACMA curators for a weekend of local artist studio visits followed by a forum, focused on in-depth conversation regarding the artwork viewed by the group. Based on the forum, artworks are then acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.
AHAN is led by Rita Gonzalez, curator and acting head of Contemporary Art, and Christine Y. Kim, curator of Contemporary Art. Annual dues directly support AHAN acquisitions.
Over the past five decades, AHAN has identified promising Los Angeles artists early in their careers. Previous acquisitions through AHAN (and its predecessor, the Young Talent Award) have included works by Mark Bradford, Chris Burden, Aaron Curry, Llyn Foulkes, Friedrich Kunath, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Lara Schnitger, and Pae White, among many other outstanding artists. Learn more about recent acquisitions: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Members also receive a membership to the Modern and Contemporary Art Council (MCAC), which hosts exclusive educational programs throughout the year, including curator-led tours, gallery and studio visits, and more.
Annual dues: $5,000
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Image credit: Ry Rocklen, Second to None, 2011, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013
Contemporary@LACMA brings together collectors and enthusiasts to help foster the growth of the museum’s international contemporary art collection through thoughtfully considered acquisitions. The group acquires the best in contemporary art from a global perspective, while maintaining the museum’s commitment to building a collection that reflects the diversity of Los Angeles.
At an annual acquisitions meeting, Contemporary@LACMA members discuss and vote on artworks proposed by a rotating panel of LACMA curators. By making these acquisitions possible, members gain insight into today’s dynamic and evolving art world, while playing an invaluable role in the growth of the museum’s international contemporary holdings—further affirming LACMA’s place among the world’s great museums.
Annual dues: $10,000 | $25,000
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Image Credit: Bruce Nauman, Human Nature/Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Know, 1983, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Modern and Contemporary Art Council Fund, © 2015 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
DA² offers its members the unique privilege of working with Decorative Arts and Design curators to acquire 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century objects for the permanent collection. LACMA is the only museum in Southern California with a major design collection and is renowned for its holdings of Arts and Crafts movement furnishings, California design, and modern and contemporary studio craft. DA² members represent a community of Los Angeles supporters who understand the role design plays in shaping, improving, and illuminating our lives and the importance of establishing a world-class collection for LACMA.
Members of DA² participate in an annual meeting and other special programs. At the annual meeting, members engage in discussion with curators and have the opportunity to vote on a selection of works proposed for acquisition.
DA² is led by Wendy Kaplan, curator and department head of Decorative Arts and Design. Annual dues directly support DA² acquisitions.
Annual dues: $5,000
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Image Credit: Raymond Loewy, Avanti, 1961, manufactured by Studebaker Corporation in 1963, partial gift of Michael, Susan, Jonathan, and David Rich, and purchased with funds provided by the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisitions Committee (DA2)
The Japanese Art Acquisitions Group (JAAG) offers donors the unique privilege of working with the curator and department head of Japanese Art to acquire significant works for LACMA's permanent collection.
JAAG members gather at an annual dinner meeting, where they engage with the department curator in a lively discussion and have the opportunity to help acquire proposed works for the museum's collection. In addition, members of this dedicated group enjoy behind-the-scenes tours and invitations to other special activities throughout the year.
Many programs are hosted in the Pavilion for Japanese Art, which opened in 1988 and is the nation's only free-standing museum building dedicated to the collecting, display, and study of Japanese art. The collection and building, which offers a unique art-viewing experience, continue to attract worldwide attention.
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Image Credit: Night Festival of Tsushima Shrine, Kan’ei era (1624-1644), early Edo period, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Camilla Chandler Frost, David and Margaret Barry, Lenore and Richard Wayne, Leslie Prince Salzman, Friends of Heritage Preservation, Gwen and Peter Norton, and the East Asian Art Council, in honor of Robert T. Singer, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA