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LA Times Wins Pulitzer for LACMA Reporting

The Los Angeles Times announced yesterday that it has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes this year, one of them for coverage in our own backyard – about the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Times’ architecture critic, Christopher Knight, won in the Criticism category for a set of 10 stories and editorials written between March and December of 2019.  The honored work includes news stories, commentary, and reviews…focusing on the museum as an institution, its big new building project (which was approved by the LA County Board of Supervisors in April, 2019), and various exhibits at the museum in the latter half of last year.

According to the Times story about yesterday’s announcement:

“In honoring Knight, the [Pulitzer] board cited his work “for demonstrating extraordinary service by a critic, applying his expertise and enterprise to critique a proposed overhaul of the L.A. County Museum of Art and its effect on the institution’s mission.”

Knight, who had been a Pulitzer finalist three times since he joined The Times in 1989, first noticed that most of the coverage of the project focused on the museum’s architecture and aesthetics with no regard for the purpose it was supposed to serve.

“The building design was going to have a profound effect on how the campus was going to operate in the future,” Knight said. “No one was discussing that.””

Among other things, Knight’s stories brought to light that LACMA’s chosen new building will have significantly less gallery space than its current buildings, that curators’ offices in the redesigned complex will be located across the street from the new galleries, that the new building seems designed more for tourists than the needs of LA’s own art community, and the simple physical challenges that may be encountered in hanging art on the concrete walls of the proposed new building.

In addition to Knight’s award, the Times was also awarded a second Pulitzer – shared with reporters from “This American Life” and Vice – for an audio story, “The Out Crowd,” about “the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy.”  It was also a finalist in three other award categories, including Breaking News (for stories about the Concepcion boat fire), Commentary (Steve Lopez’s columns about homelessness in Los Angeles), and Explanatory Reporting (about climate change’s effects on the California coastline).

The Times has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes since 1942.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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