In July, two of the founders of Guess JeansMaurice and Paul Marciano, shelled out $8 million from their art foundation to acquire a Masonic temple in Los Angeles. The brothers plan to transform this space into a museum for their contemporary art collection. 

“Los Angeles has this amazing creative energy right now, and Maurice’s project is going to be part of it,” soon-to-be-former MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch told the New York Times. “I think this will become one of the most important spaces for contemporary art in the whole country. This is making a big statement about our time.” 

The brothers have been amassing art since 1990, and have close to 1,000 works between them, including Impressionist and contemporary art. Besides a space to exhibit their collection, the museum will also support artists in residence and display exhibitions from local artists.

Although many, like Deitch, are excited that LA will get another space for contemporary art—the city also has the impressive collections at LACMA and MOCA—some worry that a private museum may not be the best thing for the city. For one, the museum will only be open by appointment.

“We’ll see if it sets off a chain reaction, and more people start to do that,” artist and former MOCA board member John Baldessari told the New York Times about the Marcianos' plan. “Then I think it’s not such a good idea, because these private institutions all have conditions on going into their spaces.”

[via New York Times]

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