The Annenberg Space For Photography Closes Permanently - Secret Los Angeles
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Art & Culture News

The Annenberg Space For Photography Closes Permanently

By Ashlyn Davis June 18, 2020

The Annenberg Space for Photography announced that it will be closing its doors for good.

After just over 10 years showcasing truly incredible photography that spans a multitude of genres, the beloved institution has announced that it will not be reopening after lockdown ends. There is no question that the lockdown has collapsed businesses across the city, with many that will no longer be around when things eventually return to normal. Sadly, The Annenberg Space for Photography is one of them.

While L.A. County has recently given museums the green light to reopen, almost all of them will remain closed with a few planning to reopen with limited capacity in July at the earliest. The criteria for reopening create added pressure for businesses as they navigate their way to recovery, for L.A.’s sole museum dedicated solely to photography, it seems the best option is to remain closed for good.

Instead, the parent organization, the Annenberg Foundation, said that funds would be redirected to the pandemic recovery and other social efforts. “The foundation is tracking closely on a daily basis where the resources are needed in our community,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Armour said, “and will be focusing its philanthropy especially on public health, food insecurity, economic recovery, helping get people back to work and social justice nonprofits.”

“It’s been a joy and a privilege to share my favorite art form with the Los Angeles community for these ten wonderful years. Because a great photograph does so much more than capture what’s in front of us. It captures what’s deep inside us – the trials and the triumphs the naked eye rarely sees. That’s why the Photo Space has been so meaningful to me,” philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, the founder of the organization, said in a statement.⁣

The absence of the space will leave a gaping hole in the city. It brought the community face-to-face with extraordinary images across a vast range. From exhibitions like The National Geographic’s Photo Ark Contact, featuring close-ups with endangered species; to High: A Visual History of Hip Hop to Extreme Exposure, that exposes viewers to the intimate visual diaries of hip hop photographers that brought the culture to the center stage. The most recent exhibition Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling, takes a look at Hollywood celebrities through the pages of the magazine over the last four decades.

This gallery has been a window into lives that are worlds away, creating a connection in a place that can at times feel very disconnected and making rare moments accessible in a way that few galleries can. The silver lining is that you can browse the incredible archives, media, and interviews at annenbergphotospace.org.