Santa Monica Museum of Art Changes Name to Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Will Move Downtown

Mickalene Thomas's Origin of the Universe, 2012, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Photo by Monica Orozco. COURTESY SANTA MONICA MUSEUM OF ART

Mickalene Thomas’s 2012 show at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.


The Santa Monica Museum of Art announced today that it will change its name to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The museum also said it has launched capital campaign with a goal of $5 million, to which donors have so far contributed a total of $1.9 million.

The museum, which left its home in Bergamot Station last year, will relocate to a new building in Downtown L.A. at 1717 East Seventh Street, a project that will be designed by Los Angeles–based architectural practice wHY, led by the firm’s creative director, Kulapat Yantrasast. The building will have 12,700 square feet of space, including 7,000 square feet for exhibitions. It will open in spring 2017.

Lastly, the museum has appointed four new members to its board of directors: Geoffrey Anenberg, Yuval Bar-Zemer, Vera Campbell, and Jennifer Schwab. These new additions bring the total number of members to ten. In a statement, the president of the board of directors, Laura Donnelley, said:

“These epic strategic changes were truly put in motion after SMMoA’s 2015 departure from a seventeen-year tenancy at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Arts Center. Throughout our history we have served our communities in greater Los Angeles through exhibitions, programs, and outreach, but have now chosen to move to Downtown LA to reinvent and redefine our organization the way that only a non-collecting museum focused on innovation, diversity, and discovery can. We are delighted to welcome these timely changes of venue, additions of leadership, and to move forward in further defining ICA LA’s role within our city and our collective place in the ever-expanding international dialogue of art and culture.”

Update, May 20: Corrected the location of wHY’s office.

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