Marciano Art Foundation's new museum in L.A. will open this spring

After years of buzz, the Marciano Art Foundation’s new museum in Los Angeles is getting closer to an opening date. Starting in spring of 2017, the doors will open on what looks set to become a Mid-Wilshire answer to the Broad or MOCA museums in Downtown, backed by brothers Maurice and Paul Marciano, who made their fortune founding the Guess clothing line.

The Scottish Rite Masonic Temple that sat empty for years is about to come back to life after a three-year renovation process. Little has been revealed about the details of the design so far, though the museum’s architect, Kulapat Yantrasast, recently told the Wall Street Journal that, “the process involved art at every level.” The Marciano brothers bought the venue in the first place because local artist Alex Israel tipped them off that the building was up for sale. 

Unlike the Broad, the collection that will be on display wasn’t originally amassed with the intention of creating a public museum. Art was a passion for the brothers, particularly Maurice, who is currently the co-chairman of the MOCA board. As soon as they started making some money from their company, they started collecting pieces that they loved.

Many of the pieces in the more than 1,500 item archive are from huge artists like Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Cindy Sherman, though many younger artists make appearances in the holdings as well. A few of the pieces in the collection have been shown at Guess’ corporate HQ, but most have never been seen by the public since being snapped up by the Marcianos.

With all the museums and galleries already around town, Maurice Marciano knows that he needs his foundation’s home to stand out.

“We don’t need another MOCA or Broad or Hammer Museum,” he told the WSJ. “It has to be different, or why do it?” 

The Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation will be located at 4357 Wilshire Blvd. It opens spring 2017, exact date to be announced soon.

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Chris Alexakispatronage, art