Volume 7, Number 3, Sept. 1985, pp.16-17

In the News


Expansion Considered for Newport Harbor Art Museum

In search of more space and a more prominent image, directors of the Newport Harbor Art Museum are considering spending from '$5 million for a face lift', says long time board member Leon Lyon, to '$50 million for which you could get a site (designed) by an internationally famous architect...' Museum directors are not expected to decide before early 1986 whether to expand the existing museum or to move to larger quarters elsewhere.

The museum, which has outgrown its present 21,000 square-foot site, was founded in 1962 when a dozen women held an art exhibition in the lobby of the Newport Beach City Hall. In 1977, after continued growth and repeated relocations, the museum moved to its current facility, on land donated by the Irvine company.

Los Angeles Times, 9 August 1985

Griffith Park Observatory Dome Cleaned

Restoration contractors have cleaned the largest copper dome of the Observatory and have pulled off a very challenging job without injury to their crew of metalworkers, painters, conservators, carpenters and everyone else who navigated the 20 miles of wood plankk and metal supports that were erected in concentric rings around the dome's contour.

CPW, Inc., the contracting firm in charge of the restoration, used bicarbonate of soda, ammonia oxalyte or mineral oil variously to remove oxidation and stains in a six step process which concluded with an application of carnauba wax. Cleaning work was done by hand and because the .043-inch copper skin was so fragile the contract with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks specified that the scaffolding could not touch it. Engineers had to devise a scaffolding that would withstand 100 m.p.h. winds and carry 125,000 pounds. Of the 18,000 square foot area to be scaffolded nearly 11,000 had to be free span. All but 90 degrees of the dome dropped straight into the rugged hillside of Griffith Park.

David Charlebois, vice president, and Robert Dugger, president, of CPW Inc. have participated in a variety of other architectural restoration projects including: repair of earthquake damage to the City Hall; injecting epoxy into cracks of the J. Paul Getty Museum; and restoration of the 1898 mission-revival A.K. Simley Public Library in Redlands, the Pasadena City Hall, the Roman brick of the Los Angeles California Club, the masonry of the Global Marine (Fine Arts) building, the Britt Mansion and the rotunda wing of the Museum of Natural History in Exposition Park.

Excerpted from the article by freelance writer Diane Kanner
which appeared in the Los Angeles Times, 19 May 1985.

Kenneth Donahue Dies; Second Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Kenneth Donahue, 70, died 20 May at the UCLA Medical Center of liver complications.

Mr. Donahue was 51 when he assumed the directorship of the fledgling Los Angeles County Museum in June 1966. The museum was only a year old and still in a state of flux. Museum staff was busy organizing and displaying the several hundred thousand art objects that had been moved to Hancock Park from the museum's old home in Exposition Park.

Edward J. Carter, the first chairman of the museum's board of trustees, recalled that, "Donahue took over the directorship of the museum at a most difficult time following the resignation of Dr. Brown...I was well aware of the innumerable problems he faced and I believe that he handled them extraordinarily well. Donahue was a man of extraordinary integrity...(he) introduced into the museum high standards of professionalism..." In October, 1979, in his last official act after retiring, Donahue realized what he said was a life's dream when he organized "The Golden Century of Venetian Painting," the first major exhibition of Venetian Renaissance painting in this country.

Donahue came to Los Angeles in 1964 from the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. Born in Louisville, he graduated from the University of Louisville and held a master's degree from the Institute of Fine Art of New York University. From 1938 to 1943 he was a staff lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then, after World War II military service, he went to Italy for two years as a research fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Los Angeles Times, 21 May 1985

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