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Jeffrey Deitch leaves MOCA

Jeffrey Deitch will be retiring as director of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art at the end of this month, according to a source cited by the L.A. Weekly. It’s also been said that Deitch may be planning on leaving LA entirely to return to his hometown of New York where he started his career in the art world as a dealer and head of Deitch Projects.

Since Deitch joined MOCA in 2010 he has continuously been at the center of controversy. From his very move as art dealer to director of a public institution – a space typically dominated by scholars, to the dismissal of longtime curator Paul Schimmel which resulted in the departure of all the artists on the museum board. Deitch’s three years at the museum has been shadowed by major financial problems, and while the number of visitors has steadily risen, the museum has constantly struggled with funding the exhibition program. Under Deitch the museum also received and subsequently rejected takeover and partnership proposals from LACMA and the National Gallery.

An unnamed source has said that over the next few days MOCA is expected to make the official announcement of Deitch’s departure along with the news that the museum is nearing completion of a fundraising campaign it announced in March 2013 to boost its endowment from about $20 million to $100 million.

Update: The board of directors for the LA’s MOCA officially announced the departure of Museum Director Jeffrey Deitch. Deitch announced his intention to leave during a board meeting held on July 24, 2013. He will retain his responsibilities until a new director is found, and is to continue a campaign intended to raise $100m, which is scheduled to end in the fall. A committee has been established to find a new director. “As colleagues, friends and great admirers of Jeffrey’s talent, we respect his decision and thank him for his tremendous dedication to the museum and all those who value MOCA,” David G. Johnson, co-chairman of the board, said in a statement released by MOCA