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Michael Shapiro

September 06, 1993

During the past year I have had the pleasure of conversing and corresponding with Michael Shapiro, and working with members of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art staff as a volunteer.

It is very unfortunate that due to fiscal problems Shapiro has decided to leave the museum ("Art Museum Director to Resign," Aug. 21), just as he was beginning to build a new relationship between LACMA and many of our county's communities, particularly those that traditionally have been underserved by mainstream cultural institutions.

I feel strongly that Shapiro was willing to institute substantive changes in areas such as the museum's curatorial and support staff, permanent collection,exhibits and educational programs, as they relate to attracting the support of all of our communities, and reflecting more closely the makeup of our county's population.

Will the museum now return to doing business as usual under the pretext of fiscal problems? SAMUEL MARK Los Angeles I would like to congradulate director Michael Shapiro for deciding to resign.

As far as I can see, no one committed to art institution leadership would want to be director of a derelict institution caught between inadequate trusteee leadership, substandard local art patronage and Draconian Los Angeles County budget cuts. If the reason that Shapiro left was that he grew tired of being expected to be the surrogate hatchet man, more power to him.

Good luck to the board of trustees and county in finding a replacement. They may have to be satisfied with a county-appointed caretaker.

PETER KOSENKO Fountain Valley

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