Pat Lasch cake sculpture, 1979 / MoMA  When sculptor Pat Lasch wanted to loan her cake sculpture from New York’s Museum of Modern Art for a retrospective of her work at the Palm Springs Art Museum, she learned that MoMA had “discarded” the work after it “deteriorated beyond repair.”   According to the New York Times, MoMA denied that Lasch’s sculpture was part of its permanent collection in the first place, explaining that it was commissioned simply as a “decorative element” for its 50th anniversary exhibition. “While it was not intended for the collection or future display at the Museum,” the statement said, “it was kept in our storage facilities for many years.” Although no attempt was made to return the work to the artist, the piece was never formally accessioned, either, so when its condition deteriorated, it was thrown away instead of conserved, with Lasch none the wiser.

Pat Lasch cake sculpture, 1979 / MoMA

When sculptor Pat Lasch wanted to loan her cake sculpture from New York’s Museum of Modern Art for a retrospective of her work at the Palm Springs Art Museum, she learned that MoMA had “discarded” the work after it “deteriorated beyond repair.”

According to the New York Times, MoMA denied that Lasch’s sculpture was part of its permanent collection in the first place, explaining that it was commissioned simply as a “decorative element” for its 50th anniversary exhibition. “While it was not intended for the collection or future display at the Museum,” the statement said, “it was kept in our storage facilities for many years.” Although no attempt was made to return the work to the artist, the piece was never formally accessioned, either, so when its condition deteriorated, it was thrown away instead of conserved, with Lasch none the wiser.

Christopher Schreck