The Annenberg Space for Photography is permanently closing

The history of hip-hop, the wealth gap, sociopolitical barriers, country music and rock and roll icons, the global refugee crisis, portraits of threatened species: The Annenberg Space for Photography has hosted some of the most challenging, rewarding and beautiful displays of photography that we’ve seen in Los Angeles. But sadly, we won’t be seeing any more in the future.

The temporarily closed Century City museum announced on Monday that, after a 10-year run, it would not be reopening. In a press release, the museum said that its permanent closure would allow the Annenberg Foundation, the organization that oversees the space, “to further focus its philanthropy on the coronavirus pandemic recovery.”

Though admission had been free, the museum cited the uncertainty of being able to accommodate its usual number of visitors as a major challenge going forward. As a result, the Annenberg Foundation will instead funnel its resources toward those affected by the pandemic, as well as for social and economic justice issues. “As hard as this moment is, I’m proud that we made so much stirring work so accessible,” said Wallis Annenberg, chairman and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation.

“The goal of the Annenberg Space for Photography was to inform and inspire the public by connecting photographers, philanthropy and the human experience through powerful imagery and visual storytelling,” said musem director Katie Hollander. “I’m proud that we have accomplished that through our thought-provoking and diverse exhibits, original films, education programs, and panel discussions.”

Like all museums in L.A., the Annenberg Space for Photography has been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic; the museum had been offering an online variant of its Vanity Fair exhibition in the interim. Similarly, the museum has committed to keeping past exhibits, archives of interviews and audio tours up on its site and social media account.

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