CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
As Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Michael Govan oversees all activities of the museum, including art programming and Transformation, the multifaceted building project that is expanding, upgrading, and unifying the museum’s seven-building, twenty-acre campus. Since Mr. Govan’s arrival at LACMA in 2006, he has realized his vision of engaging contemporary artists and developing the museum’s historic collections, as evidenced by John Baldessari’s installation of Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images and Jorge Pardo’s innovative design of the Art of the Ancient Americas galleries. As part of Transformation, Mr. Govan has additionally orchestrated the commission and installation of the artist projects that dot the museum’s campus, beginning with Chris Burden’s Urban Light and Robert Irwin’s evolving palm garden.
Prior to LACMA, Mr. Govan was president and director of Dia Art Foundation in New York City, where he spearheaded the creation of the critically acclaimed Dia:Beacon. Prior to the Dia Art Foundation, he served as the Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where his work extended to Guggenheim branches in New York, Venice, and Bilbao.
Most cultural institutions are struggling in this economic downturn. Fortunately, LACMA has enough steady support from the county and its patrons to maintain most of our planned programs, including major exhibitions of Renoir, American masterpieces, photography, and contemporary art. And thanks to the generosity of Lynda and Stewart Resnick, we will open our new Renzo Piano-designed exhibition pavilion in September 2010. In this economic downturn, it is even more important to invest in cultural and civic projects that can be shared by all and reflect the indefatigable creative spirit of Los Angeles.