Jeffrey Deitch at his desk | Still from "Artbound" Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

What Defines the 21st Century Museum?

How do you define a museum in the 21st century?

We approached Helen Molesworth, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, with this complex question. Founded in 1979, technology and social movements have greatly influenced the institution's relationship to art. And in a recent interview for an upcoming Artbound episode, Molesworth details one recent collaboration and two exhibitions that break the traditional mold: A partnership with the Underground Museum, established in 2015, has brought MOCA's dormant archives to life in the community of Arlington Heights; chef and artist Craig Thornton transforms the dining experience into performance art with exhibition "Wolvesmouth: Taxa;" and creative Lauren Mackler, a kind of “human museum,” reconfigures creative space by setting up Public Fiction wherever she may be.

For Molesworth, museums today aren't just repositories of art, they are generators of culture as well.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic

"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s. Through the writings of Edith Heath, the founder and designer of Heath Ceramics and voiced by renowned chef Nancy Silverton, this episode explores the groundbreaking work of a woman who created a classic of American design.

How Sweet The Sound: Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, a time defined by political movements across the country. Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley.

Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial roots to the popular depictions in mass media today. Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to East Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since then, the celebration has grown in proportions with renditions enacted in communities all around the world.

Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

The charming, unusual and at times polarizing Jeffrey Deitch left Los Angeles in 2013 after a tumultuous run as the director of MOCA ending in his resignation. He makes his return with a new gallery opening with the first LA exhibit of renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator.

Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the iconic typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to Herman Miller’s Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. While this second generation of Japanese American artists have been celebrated in various publications and exhibitions with their iconic work, less-discussed is how the World War II incarceration — a period of intense discrimination and hardship — has also had a powerful effect on the lives of artists such as Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata.