The LA Times reports there’s something fishy happening at the Orange County Museum of Art, so fishy that they used the word “sketchy” in the editorial’s headline. The scandal involves some paintings — “stellar examples of California Impressionism” — secretly sold by OCMA’s director Dennis Szakacs and the museum’s board at a price that is making most people’s jaws hit the floor.
Here’s what we know:
1. The 18 paintings only sold for $963K when according to experts a few were worth at least $1M on their own. 2. They went to an unnamed Laguna Beach collector. 3. The private auction was only brought to light after an LA Times reader tipped them off. 4. OCMA plans to use the money for new acquisitions. This wasn’t a Hail Mary move ala the Rose Art Museum.
It seems strange that with so many area museums facing economic turmoil (MOCA, LACMA, The Natural History Museum), OCMA would make such a financially foolish move. Maybe that explains all the secrecy and cover up? Judging from the picture above, we think Kristin Cavallari or Lauren Conrad could possibly have something to do with this.