Report of Top Curator’s Firing at MOCA Stuns Artists

Report of Top Curator’s Firing at MOCA Stuns Artists

The statement shared by Sarah Lloyd Stifler, a MOCA spokeswoman, said Ms. Molesworth will continue to work with the museum on her upcoming exhibition, “One Day at A Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art,” scheduled for October 2018.

“Helen Molesworth fired? Seriously? MOCA has some real problems,” an artist, Elizabeth Tremante, wrote on Facebook. “Dear MOCA: I support Helen Molesworth. She’s done wonders for diversifying and enriching your programming,” Jenni Sorkin, a curator and art historian at the University of California Santa Barbara, posted there.

The L.A. Times article framed Ms. Molesworth’s dismissal as an ideological struggle over values, with Mr. Vergne supporting exhibitions of trustee favorites like Matthew Barney.

It discussed the museum gala as a point of tension. Last year the gala, a popular fund-raiser, honored the art star Jeff Koons, and this year the board planned to honor Mark Grotjahn in May. But Mr. Grotjahn withdrew suddenly from the event, and the gala was canceled.

Calls to Ms. Molesworth, Ms. Vergne and Ms. Opie were not returned on Tuesday.

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