Appointments Museums News USA

MoCA, Los Angeles names interim director

Arts lawyer Maria Seferian has worked on the museum’s endowment campaign and is on the search committee to find her permanent successor

Maria Seferian. Photo by Oode Aryee

The board of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles today named the arts lawyer Maria Seferian as the institution’s interim director. She has been a member of the search committee to appoint a new director since Jeffrey Deitch stepped down this summer. Seferian has worked with MoCA as outside counsel since 2008, particularly on the campaign to raise the museum’s endowment to $100m, and “has built an extremely close relationship with the board”, a spokeswoman said.

Seferian stresses that her time as director will be “very short” and that the search for a new director is well under way and should be concluded soon. Her primary goals, she says, are to see the museum through its major fundraising initiative—current commitments would bring the endowment to more than $80m—and keep the institution “operating in the exceptional way it has been”.

Seferian is co-president of the board of the California Lawyers for the Arts. She works with a number of institutions, including the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Annenberg Trust at Sunnylands, Occidental Petroleum’s interest in the Hammer Museum. She represented the Pacific Asia Museum in its recently announced partnership with the University of Southern California (USC). A similar partnership between USC and MoCA was discussed late last year, as a way of rescuing the struggling museum. Instead, the board announced the endowment campaign to shore up its finances.

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