Diana Gutman, chairwoman of the Art Museum Council at LACMA, says the group's 40-member board has voted unanimously to stop volunteering at the museum next year because of its plans to triple council members' fees.
As the museum announced this week, members who once paid a minimum of $400 to participate on various councils (or $450 for this particular council) will be required to pay $1,000 plus a $250-level membership starting next June. The Art Museum Council, which has some 200 members, is one of 10 such museum support groups -- the only one raising money for museum acquisitions and exhibitions across the board and not for a specific department.
In an email Thursday explaining the decision, Gutman wrote, "The Art Museum Council of LACMA is a very diverse, hands-on group. Our AMC Board of Directors voted to withdraw from LACMA rather than discriminate against any of our members who would be unable to pay the exorbitant increase to stay in our council. We do not believe in leaving anyone out of our group."
Museum director Michael Govan explained this week that he was raising dues for the 10 art councils, support groups that help with acquisitions and exhibitions, to bring them "more in line with other museums nationally." He also said that their boards would be dissolved, shifting responsibility for fundraising and event-planning to curators and the in-house development staff.