The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the most popular art museum in the western U.S., with more than one million visitors annually. Local leaders consider it important to their economy as well as to regional culture. In 2014, county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky described the arts as “an economic engine” for Los Angeles, elaborating that the sector “employs more people than the defense industry does, something we could not say 25 years ago.”
In 2014, Angeleno Jerry Perenchio—whose career in the entertainment business ranged from putting up the prizes for the first Ali-Frazier fight to building the Univision TV network—announced that upon his death he would be injecting some rocket fuel into L.A.’s economic engine. He pledged to donate 47 great works of European art to LACMA. Painstakingly collected over 50 years, these works by Cézanne, Degas, Monet, Picasso, and others are collectively valued at half a billion dollars, representing one of the largest art gifts ever made in the U.S.
- Los Angeles Time interview with Perenchio at gift announcement, latimes.com/entertainment/arts/museums/la-et-cm-lacma-donate-20141105-story.html#page=12014 Art for the West