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An Unfair Criticism

October 29, 2000

Christopher Knight chooses to pick on Dr. Andrea Rich's lack of formal art training to explain what he feels is lacking in the new "Made in California" exhibition at LACMA ("Thematically Overwrought," Oct. 23). There is no connection between these two things, and he knows it. The day before his review, Calendar published a lengthy article ("Presenting a State of Mind [And Then Some]," Oct. 22) in which the exhibition was clearly described as the brainchild of that very creative LACMA senior curator Stephanie Barron, who has a substantial resume of formal art training.

Knight has taken a cheap shot at Rich just because he subscribes to that reactionary body of thought, not unknown elsewhere, that believes only art historians are qualified to run museums. Rich has restored peace and prosperity to the long-troubled landscape at LACMA, and has had more success in making it a truly community-based and relevant museum than any of her predecessors. And, as far as I can tell, she does not dictate to the curators how to do their jobs.

If a critic with Knight's credentials doesn't like an exhibition, that's just part of criticism. It ought to be beneath his dignity to throw into his art criticism a personal attack on the professional background of the museum president, especially when that president has done so much to bring the museum back to prominence.

ALAN CHARLES

Beverly Hills

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday October 31, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
LACMA director--A letter that appeared in Sunday Calendar speculated that Andrea Rich, administrative president and director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, does not oversee the museum's curators. As director, Rich is responsible for the museum's artistic program.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 5, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Page 2 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
LACMA letter--A letter that appeared in Sunday Calendar incorrectly speculated that Andrea Rich, administrative president and director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, does not oversee the museum's curators. As director Rich is responsible for the museum's artistic program.

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