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Elsa Longhauser

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January 9, 2011 | By Scarlet Cheng, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Ten years is a lifetime in the art world, where the vicissitudes of trends and tastes can befuddle the most experienced. Yet Elsa Longhauser by many accounts has been able to scope out the creative zeitgeist of this city as she completes her first decade at the helm of the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Tucked into a corner of the Bergamot Station arts complex, it is a small museum that seeks to speak with a big voice. She has a clear vision for the mission of her institution, conceived as a kunsthalle, or space for showing rotating exhibitions without establishing any collection of its own. The museum has a large main gallery and a smaller projects room that are programmed throughout the year.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2013 | By Ellen Olivier
The great opera and theater director Peter Sellars draped a chain of Lithuanian amber around his neck for PreCognito, something he does, he said, only for very special occasions.  That special occasion, Thursday's gala dinner, celebrated the Santa Monica Museum of Art's 25th anniversary by honoring Sellars and pioneering art gallery owner Margo Leavin. Noted artists Bill Viola and John Baldessari delivered the introductions. PreCognito also previewed 700+ artworks, coming up for sale Saturday at SMMoA's signature annual event, InCognito, which offers each piece at the same $350 plus tax, regardless of the contributing artist.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2012 | By Jori Finkel
Michael Asher, the groundbreaking L.A. conceptual artist and veteran CalArts teacher, died Sunday night after a long illness. He was 69. A teacher at CalArts since the early 1970s, Asher was famous in the classroom for his wit and candor -- and also his endurance. His marathon "crit" (critique) sessions, designed to review student work, could by his own account run from 10 a.m. to midnight. "I throw away the clock," he once told me. His own artwork is often described as institutional critique or engagement -- work that grows out of the particular conditions of a museum or gallery environment.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2012 | By Jori Finkel
Michael Asher, the groundbreaking L.A. conceptual artist and veteran CalArts teacher, died Sunday night after a long illness. He was 69. A teacher at CalArts since the early 1970s, Asher was famous in the classroom for his wit and candor -- and also his endurance. His marathon "crit" (critique) sessions, designed to review student work, could by his own account run from 10 a.m. to midnight. "I throw away the clock," he once told me. His own artwork is often described as institutional critique or engagement -- work that grows out of the particular conditions of a museum or gallery environment.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2012 | By Jori Finkel
The Santa Monica Museum of Art has announced the hiring of two deputy directors to replace Lisa Melandri, who left her deputy post this summer to become director of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. The new co-deputy directors are Doug Rimerman, who will focus on strategic planning and fundraising, and Claire Ruud, who will oversee day-to-day operations, administration and communications. Rimerman, 44, has worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a development officer, the Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena as a development director and, most recently, at the higher-education nonprofit the Fulfillment Fund as director of corporate and foundation relations.
NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Jori Finkel
After more than a decade as the deputy director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Lisa Melandri is moving to St. Louis to become the director of the Contemporary Art Museum there. She will leave her current post at the end of June and start her new job in August. “I feel like I'm going to a sister institution in that it's also a noncollecting contemporary art museum,” Melandri said. “I find that model so exciting and thrilling. It's ideal for presentation of contemporary art, and it has this ability to be nimble, unlike some museums with permanent collections.” The official announcement notes that Melandri has helped to oversee the Santa Monica museum during a time of growth, in which its operating budget nearly doubled to reach $2.2 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2013 | By Ellen Olivier
The great opera and theater director Peter Sellars draped a chain of Lithuanian amber around his neck for PreCognito, something he does, he said, only for very special occasions.  That special occasion, Thursday's gala dinner, celebrated the Santa Monica Museum of Art's 25th anniversary by honoring Sellars and pioneering art gallery owner Margo Leavin. Noted artists Bill Viola and John Baldessari delivered the introductions. PreCognito also previewed 700+ artworks, coming up for sale Saturday at SMMoA's signature annual event, InCognito, which offers each piece at the same $350 plus tax, regardless of the contributing artist.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2011 | Jori Finkel
Before she died in 1998 at the age of 105, artist Beatrice Wood liked to say that she owed her longevity to "chocolate and young men. " A Santa Monica Museum of Art retrospective of her work does include a campy ceramic sculpture she made on that theme, which shows a regal woman flanked by a phalanx of tiny adoring male figures. But the show, opening Sept. 10, promises to go beyond the sensational, sari-wearing persona that Wood cultivated to find an artist of contradictions and complexities.
IMAGE
November 8, 2009 | Ellen Olivier
Leonard Nimoy's latest photography project concerned people's secret selves, so it wasn't hard for officials at the Santa Monica Museum of Art to convince him to help with a fundraiser on that quintessential dress-your-fantasy occasion: Halloween. Besides that, Nimoy said, "I like the Santa Monica Museum." At the Halla Gala, guests were invited to "come as your secret self." For those who bought a $5,000 gala package, the multitalented artist/actor best known as Mr. Spock of "Star Trek" would photograph them as their otherwise hidden identities.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 18, 2000 | SUZANNE MUCHNIC, Suzanne Muchnic is The Times' art writer
Elsa Longhauser has arrived in Southern California on a wave of hope that she will transform the Santa Monica Museum of Art from an underfunded, low-profile exhibition space to a thriving destination of choice, both for the local community and the international art world. Longhauser took on a big challenge when she agreed to become the museum's new director, and she knows it. "We have a lot of work to do in terms of building a team, raising money and gathering an audience," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2012 | By Jori Finkel
The Santa Monica Museum of Art has announced the hiring of two deputy directors to replace Lisa Melandri, who left her deputy post this summer to become director of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. The new co-deputy directors are Doug Rimerman, who will focus on strategic planning and fundraising, and Claire Ruud, who will oversee day-to-day operations, administration and communications. Rimerman, 44, has worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a development officer, the Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena as a development director and, most recently, at the higher-education nonprofit the Fulfillment Fund as director of corporate and foundation relations.
NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Jori Finkel
After more than a decade as the deputy director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Lisa Melandri is moving to St. Louis to become the director of the Contemporary Art Museum there. She will leave her current post at the end of June and start her new job in August. “I feel like I'm going to a sister institution in that it's also a noncollecting contemporary art museum,” Melandri said. “I find that model so exciting and thrilling. It's ideal for presentation of contemporary art, and it has this ability to be nimble, unlike some museums with permanent collections.” The official announcement notes that Melandri has helped to oversee the Santa Monica museum during a time of growth, in which its operating budget nearly doubled to reach $2.2 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2011 | Jori Finkel
Before she died in 1998 at the age of 105, artist Beatrice Wood liked to say that she owed her longevity to "chocolate and young men. " A Santa Monica Museum of Art retrospective of her work does include a campy ceramic sculpture she made on that theme, which shows a regal woman flanked by a phalanx of tiny adoring male figures. But the show, opening Sept. 10, promises to go beyond the sensational, sari-wearing persona that Wood cultivated to find an artist of contradictions and complexities.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2011 | By Scarlet Cheng, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Ten years is a lifetime in the art world, where the vicissitudes of trends and tastes can befuddle the most experienced. Yet Elsa Longhauser by many accounts has been able to scope out the creative zeitgeist of this city as she completes her first decade at the helm of the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Tucked into a corner of the Bergamot Station arts complex, it is a small museum that seeks to speak with a big voice. She has a clear vision for the mission of her institution, conceived as a kunsthalle, or space for showing rotating exhibitions without establishing any collection of its own. The museum has a large main gallery and a smaller projects room that are programmed throughout the year.
IMAGE
November 8, 2009 | Ellen Olivier
Leonard Nimoy's latest photography project concerned people's secret selves, so it wasn't hard for officials at the Santa Monica Museum of Art to convince him to help with a fundraiser on that quintessential dress-your-fantasy occasion: Halloween. Besides that, Nimoy said, "I like the Santa Monica Museum." At the Halla Gala, guests were invited to "come as your secret self." For those who bought a $5,000 gala package, the multitalented artist/actor best known as Mr. Spock of "Star Trek" would photograph them as their otherwise hidden identities.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 18, 2000 | SUZANNE MUCHNIC, Suzanne Muchnic is The Times' art writer
Elsa Longhauser has arrived in Southern California on a wave of hope that she will transform the Santa Monica Museum of Art from an underfunded, low-profile exhibition space to a thriving destination of choice, both for the local community and the international art world. Longhauser took on a big challenge when she agreed to become the museum's new director, and she knows it. "We have a lot of work to do in terms of building a team, raising money and gathering an audience," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2007 | Diane Haithman
IT'S pretty, but is it art? Well, it could be Art -- or Bob, or Olga. Fact is, an artist of any name or level of fame could be the creator of the 8-by-10-inch artworks offered at a flat rate of $250 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art's third annual INCOGNITO benefit sale Saturday. Of course, buyers will find out who made the work they choose, but only after they've paid for it. "You really have to trust your instincts," says museum executive director Elsa Longhauser.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 2003 | Louise Roug, Times Staff Writer
The Santa Monica Museum of Art has received its largest donation in its history -- a combined gift of $2 million -- signaling a turning point for the small institution. With $1 million each from the Annenberg Foundation and the Good Works Foundation, the 9-year-old museum is no longer underfunded and overlooked. "It's a defining moment for the museum," said Elsa Longhauser, its executive director. "It gives us a certain amount of financial stability and a base of support on which we can build.
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