David Geffen, philanthropist and long-time patron of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), has pledged $150 million towards its fundraising campaign for new galleries.

Geffen’s donation, the largest single gift in the museum’s history, brings the total monies pledged to $450 million.

The new galleries will be housed in a building designed by renowned Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor. It will be named the David Geffen Galleries in honour of his generosity.

“I am excited to see the positive effects this new building will have on Los Angeles’s art and architectural communities,” reports Geffen. “This innovative addition to the LACMA campus will ensure ongoing and expanded access to their permanent collection. LACMA will be able to touch millions of lives and create an even healthier and more vibrant community for everyone.”

He stressed the need to foster public-private partnerships to support arts and cultural institutions amid threatened cuts in federal funding.

“Together, we can and must make sure every person has access to the arts,” he added.

David Geffen gifts $150 million towards new LACMA building

Donation ensures the new building becomes a reality

Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, described Geffen as one of the country’s most generous philanthropists.

“This historic commitment propels LACMA’s two-decade expansion and rebuilding project forward,” he said.

“This gift, for which we are incredibly grateful, ensures that our new building becomes a reality. Pledges of this magnitude are incredibly rare, and David’s commitment demonstrates his belief in the power of art museums to reach a broad and diverse public and create significant civic benefit.”

The David Geffen Galleries will replace four of LACMA’s seven current buildings. The new space will allow the museum to better display more of its vast collection. The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2019. The new building is expected to open in 2023.

Geffen is an entertainment entrepreneur best known for creating record companies Asylum and Geffen Records. He has discovered and fostered the careers of some of America’s most well-known musicians and actors.

LACMA renderings © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner/The Boundary