Michael Govan

Director of Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Given his current responsibilities, Govan might have been better off studying for an MBA than his degree in Art History and Fine Art. For to be the director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art involves a lot of fundraising and a head for figures. These are likely prefixed by dollar signs and suffixed by ‘million’: the $650m needed to complete LACMA’s teardown-and-rebuild capital project; the $117.5m Govan secured from la County in April. Or they might refer to missing square metres, after it emerged that Peter Zumthor’s design will include 10 percent less area than the planned 36,000sqm. Or be attached to the deal with Budi Tek’s Yuz Museum, with which LACMA will partner on a jointly owned foundation managing 90 percent of the Indonesian-Chinese entrepreneur’s collection. Govan knows that making art accessible in California requires an unholy alliance of number crunching and celebrity: hence roping in Kanye West to donate $10m to James Turrell’s decades-awaited Roden Crater.