The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced on Tuesday that its $750-million fundraising campaign for a new building — the David Geffen Galleries, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor — is 98% complete, now standing at $736 million.
The museum has appointed 11 new board members since 2020, which it said has been key to reaching its fundraising goal. Board contributions now total $330 million.
Fundraising has been slow moving. In November 2021, the campaign was at $679 million; a year before, it stood at $655 million.
In October 2022, the museum announced that the fundraising campaign had reached the $700 million mark. It also said, at the time, that construction of the building was 50% complete. Despite supply-chain issues and other pandemic-related delays — which have slowed other museum projects, such as the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art rising in Exposition Park — LACMA maintained, at the time, that its building project was still on track, aiming for a late 2024 completion.
$125 million of the public-private partnership for the controversial new building comes from Los Angeles County taxpayer funds. Eighty percent of the campaign funds, the museum has said, are private donations — though LACMA has not disclosed how much of those donations have been paid to the museum versus pledges to come.
LACMA director Michael Govan said in Tuesday’s announcement that the museum is at an “important juncture.” The new board members, he added , bring “a true diversity of experience in the fields of art, technology, philanthropy, business, sports and entertainment, among others.” The board now has 54 voting members in addition to 11 life trustees.
The newest additions to the LACMA board, all elected this year, are Lee Boo-jin, president of Seoul’s Hotel Shilla, Jeff Yabuki, chairman and co-founder of the private equity firm Motive Partners, and venture capitalist Jim Tananbaum, founding CEO of Foresite Capital.
Actor and Chicano art collector — and founder of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture at the Riverside Art Museum — Cheech Marin joined the board in 2021. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Lionel Richie joined the board in 2021.
When asked on Tuesday morning whether or not late 2024 is still the target completion date, the museum did not respond.