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LACMA gains three high-profile trustees

A philanthropist, author Michael Crichton and Yahoo's CEO will help upgrade the museum.

October 17, 2006|Suzanne Muchnic | Times Staff Writer

With a new director at the helm and a major expansion underway, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has added three high-profile members to its board of trustees.

David Bohnett, a philanthropist and technology entrepreneur who heads the David Bohnett Foundation and the private equity firm Baroda Ventures; Michael Crichton, a bestselling author of such books as "Jurassic Park" and "State of Fear," a television producer and filmmaker; and Terry Semel, chairman and chief executive of Yahoo Inc. and former chairman of Warner Bros., have been elected to a 44-member board, 21 of whom have joined since 2000.

"We grow the collection, we grow the building, we grow the board," said LACMA Director Michael Govan, who took charge of the museum in April. The new trustees are well qualified to help the museum improve its facilities, develop its program and extend its reach into the community, he said.

Among those qualifications is experience on other organizations' boards. Bohnett is on the board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. Crichton has served on the boards of Harvard University, the International Design Conference at Aspen and the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in La Jolla. Semel is a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Television and Radio in New York and Beverly Hills and Emerson College in Boston.

Bohnett, Crichton and Semel have arrived at LACMA during the first phase of an ambitious project to expand, upgrade and unify the museum's facilities in a comprehensive program designed by architect Renzo Piano. A new building, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA, funded by trustee Eli Broad, is under construction. Plans call for renovation of the five existing buildings, including the former May Co. department store at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

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suzanne.muchnic@latimes.com

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