Controller Ron Galperin released a map Wednesday of the condition of 200 public sculptures, installations, murals and photos that exist in and on buildings, at parks and throughout Los Angeles.
The map is accessible at lacontroller.org/cityart, and makes the city's public art database, overseen by the Department of Cultural Affairs, available to Angelenos for the first time, according to the controller's office. Users can navigate the map to see the name of the artwork, its location, the name of the artist(s) and what type of art it is.
"Public art is central to the identity of our communities in Los Angeles,'' Galperin said. "It inspires creativity and enhances landscapes in our neighborhoods. Because many Angelenos aren't visiting museums in person just yet, I hope people will use this map to discover the public art that already exists in our parks and on our streets.''
The City Art Collection is composed of 2,500 additional paintings, murals, sculptures, lithographs and photographs displayed at public buildings, on loan or in storage.
The public art map accompanies Galperin's report on the larger City Art Collection, a collection separate from the Public Art database.
A report from the controller's office, titled "A More Modern Approach to City-Owned Art,'' found that a substantial portion of city art is missing or damaged, and it called on the DCA to do "a better job managing, tracking and maintaining the collection and all city-owned art,'' Galperin stated.
Calls to the DCA were not immediately returned.
Due to budget and staffing constraints, the DCA no longer monitors or manages the City Art Collection, according to the controller's office. Galperin's report found that 18% of the City Art Collection is missing or stolen, 25% of the works of art with condition data are damaged or in poor condition, and 41% of the collection lacks identifying photographs.
The report also found 50% of the collection is missing appraisal information. The artwork that does have appraisal information were valued at $19 million, but those appraisals are between 16 and more than 40 years old.
Galperin's report recommended changes to improve the City Art Collection and DCA's art oversight across the city, including developing a full inventory of city-owned art, creating an online catalog and map of all the art, implementing a modern system to manage the collection and leveraging the expertise of local arts organizations and academic institutions to better showcase city art.