Advocating a policy of "give or get" for trustees, longtime LACMA board member Frederick R. Weisman said: "You can't require board members to give more than they can afford, but damn it all, they can get the money. You want people to be proud to say, 'I'm from Los Angeles.' "
One of the board's newest members, Cleon T. Knapp, who recently sold his communications firm, which publishes Architectural Digest and Bon Appetit magazines, said he joined LACMA to help find support for the museum in the private sector.
"It won't be easy," he said. "It won't happen overnight, but I'm optimistic. Los Angeles is too important."
The L.A. County Museum of Art's endowment--the investment fund that generates interest to help run the facility--is way below that of other major American art museums. A comparison: N.Y. Met Cleveland AIC* Houston Walker Philadelphia MOMA** Minneapolis LACMA Whitney (N.Y.) Seattle Denver * Art Institute of Chicago ** Previous year's figure Source: Times staff