Battles over ownership and cultural artifacts are not limited to the international sphere but are rife in local politics. Recent struggles between the Autry National Center and the community of Mount Washington, the Los Angeles neighborhood home to the troubled Southwest Museum. The Lummis estate, home to the extensive collection of Native American cultural artifacts, was severely damaged in earthquakes and its iconic tower needs serious renovations to meet California seismic requirements. In 2002 the Southwest Museum controversially merged with the Autry National Center. Mount Washington residents quickly formed into coalitions to protect the Southwest and ensure that the collection did not move to the Autry National Center’s site in Griffith Park.
Static collections, created often by whimsical and exacting men and women, struggle to maintain the visions of their creators while staying relevant in a modern environment. Other examples I can think of are the Barnes Collection, the Norton Simon, and the Isabella Stewart Garner Collection. Oftentimes these museums are located in over-cramped and impractical spaces designed for the smaller visitorship of yesteryear.