The expected has now happened.
LA MOCA’s official announcement of the eventual (but still indeterminate) departure of Jeffrey Deitch has just hit my inbox. As far as I can tell, it’s not on the museum’s website at this writing, but you can read it in full at the above link.
Saying that Deitch “will be stepping down,” the release about “leadership changes” (including shifts on the board) sidesteps the question of whether he voluntarily resigned or was asked to leave. It also doesn’t specify when he will depart, stating that “he will stay on to ensure a smooth transition and the successful completion of MOCA’s $100 million endowment campaign, expected to close this fall.”
Also leaving his MOCA position is the museum’s president, Jeffrey Soros, who will keep his seat on the board but be succeeded as president by collector Fred Sands, who is currently chairman of the museum’s investment committee. The new director’s search committee consists of the board’s co-chairs, Maria Bell and David Johnson (who oversaw this sorry chapter in the museum’s history), as well as Joel Wachs, former MOCA trustee and president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. (Will they also engage a professional headhunter?)
As I stated in my KCRW commentary yesterday, we can only hope that they’ve all absorbed the lessons from the museum’s disastrous hire of some who manifestly lacked the administrative and fundraising skill-set required of an effective museum director. May they soon find a leader sufficiently intrigued by MOCA’s superlative collection, creative potential and vibrant cultural community to put in the hard work needed to right this foundering ship, restoring both the museum’s finances and its professional luster.