Climate control issues and other building-related problems make the 55,000-square-foot Geffen, which has more than double the exhibition space of MOCA's Grand Avenue headquarters, unsuitable for permanently displaying collection items. Nathanson had hoped that a big renovation campaign would not only provide MOCA with space to show many more of its vaunted holdings of post-World War II art but would give it a rallying point to fundraise its way out of fiscal doldrums while also eliminating the expense of operating two sites.
But she said the idea of closing the Grand Avenue museum ran up against Broad's vision of developing crowd-drawing synergy between the MOCA headquarters and the $130-million Broad Collection museum he is building across the street for his own major collection of contemporary art, with an expected 2014 opening.
Along with the board departures and Schimmel's forced resignation, in June MOCA laid off five other staffers as the museum lowered its budget for the coming year to $14.3 million, the leanest since the late 1990s.
David Johnson, the MOCA board's co-chairman, noted that nine new trustees have joined the board since Deitch became director in June 2010, and that all of them except Gary Cypres remain. He said that two "really great" prospective board members have agreed to join and are expected to be voted in at the next quarterly meeting.
"We're sad whenever anyone, after service, no longer continues," Johnson said Wednesday before Baldessari's resignation. "But I don't think this is unusual. I don't think it's something we're concerned about."