Museum of Latin American Art

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Museum of Latin American Art
Established 1996
Location 628 Alamitos Avenue
Long Beach, California 90802, United States
Coordinates 33°46′29″N 118°10′47″W / 33.7746°N 118.1798°W / 33.7746; -118.1798
Type Latin American Contemporary Art [1]
Website Museum of Latin American Art

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) was founded by Dr. Robert Gumbiner in 1996 in Long Beach, California, United States and serves the greater Los Angeles area. MOLAA is the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art.

Since its inception, MOLAA has doubled its size, added a 15,000 sq. ft. sculpture garden and expanded its permanent collection, ranging from works by Tamayo and Matta to Cruz-Díez, Los Carpinteros and Tunga. The museum offers a significant permanent collection as well as educational and cultural programs to its visitors.

The museum is located in the city’s rapidly developing East Village Arts District. Between 1913 and 1918, the site that the museum now occupies was the home of the Balboa Amusement Producing Company, then the world’s most productive and innovative silent film studio. Before there was a Hollywood, Balboa was the king of the silver screen, producing as much as 20,000 feet of negative film a week.

The building that was renovated as MOLAA’s Entertainment / Education / Special Event venue may have been part of the old Balboa film studio. MOLAA’s exhibition galleries, administrative offices and store are housed in what was once a roller skating rink known as the Hippodrome. Built in the late 1920s, after the film studios were gone, the Hippodrome was a haven for skaters for four decades. The building then served as a senior health center for fifteen years. The high vaulted ceilings and beautiful wooden floors were perfectly suited for the Hippodrome's final metamorphosis into the Museum of Latin American Art.

On January 25, 2011, MOLAA president and CEO, Richard P. Townsend, resigned without explanation.[2]

On November 2012, MOLAA cut 4.5 full-time positions, including its chief curator, and slashed its operating budget by nearly 15 percent.The museum cut $600,000 in expenses. MOLAA President and CEO, Stuart A. Ashman said the museum made the cuts following a vote by the board of directors.[3]

On June 2014, MOLAA's Board unanimously passed a resolution that clarified the definition of Latin American art to include Chicano art or art created by people of Latin American descent who have lived exclusively in the United States. The Museum can now officially open its doors to the entire Latino community – those living in their native countries, the U.S. or abroad and is already planning its first Biennial of Latin(o) American Art in 2016 in conjunction with MOLAA’s 20th anniversary.[4]


MOLAA educates the public through the collection, preservation, presentation and interpretation of modern and contemporary Latin American art in order to promote cross-cultural dialogue.[5]


  1. ^ Museum of Latin American Art: About, ARTINFO, 2008, retrieved 2008-07-29 
  2. ^ "Townsend out as CEO of Long Beach's Museum of Latin American Art". Press-Telegram. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  3. ^ "long-beachs-museum-latin-american-art-cuts-curator". Press Telegram. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  4. ^ "museum-of-latin-american-art-to-include-chicano-art". KPCC-org. Retrieved 2014-6-17. 
  5. ^ "Mission and History". MOLAA. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 

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