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Tuchman to Leave LACMA but Retain Ties to Museum

November 16, 1994|SUZANNE MUCHNIC | TIMES ART WRITER

Maurice Tuchman--who only a year ago won a legal battle to retain his longtime position as the L.A. County Museum of Art's senior curator of 20th-Century art--will leave the museum on Dec. 1. However, he will not sever connections with the institution that has employed him for 30 years or the department he founded.

Upon his official departure, Tuchman, 57, will assume the honorary title of senior curator emeritus of the 20th-Century art department. He also will serve the museum as guest curator for a major contemporary art exhibition, "Hidden in Plain Sight: Illusion and the Real in Recent Art." The exhibition will open at LACMA in 1996 and travel to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In announcing Tuchman's change of status on Tuesday, LACMA president William A. Mingst praised the veteran curator for bringing distinction to the museum. "Maurice holds a special place in the heart of the museum. We are particularly grateful to him for his contributions to our collections. His creativity and vision have had and will continue to have a lasting impact on LACMA," Mingst said.

Tuchman could not be reached for comment.

A Columbia University-educated art historian and Fulbright scholar, Tuchman founded LACMA's 20th-Century art department in 1964 and became a high-profile personality in the art world. But early in 1993--during a tumultuous period when the museum suffered harsh budgetary cutbacks and Michael Shapiro briefly served as its director--Tuchman was effectively demoted to a newly created position as senior curator of drawings. He filed suit and was reinstated last November as part of a confidential settlement.

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