James Goldstein gifting US$40m Big Lebowski house to Los Angeles County Museum of Art

by Tom Anstey | 19 Feb 2016

The owner of a US$40m (€36m, £28m) luxury house, famous for its role in 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski, is to donate the property to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) with the intention of turning it into a museum and example of creativity within architecture.

James Goldstein, who owns the Sheats Goldstein residence in the Hollywood hills, has pledged the building to LACMA, along with its gardens, artworks and fashion collection, which will one day become available to the public.

"Los Angeles should represent a city that's contemporary and moving into the future," said Goldstein. "I want people to build houses in a way that hasn't been done before; moving into the future instead of the past. I hope my house is an inspiration for that."

The building’s design has constantly evolved over the past 30 years, with Goldstein and designer John Lautner working together to refine and adapt the property, which has included the addition of frameless glass throughout the entire house and the design of bespoke minimalist furniture made of concrete, wood, and glass.

In addition to working with Lautner, Goldstein has also collaborated with Duncan Nicholson who has designed an entertainment complex on the property still under construction.

Within the property Goldstein’s collection includes works by Ed Ruscha, DeWain Valentine and Kenny Scharf, and his adjacent private club has been used most recently as the venue for the post-Grammy Awards party. The property also includes Skyspace – a light installation by James Turrell – which sits within the tropical gardens.

In addition to its iconic appearance in The Big Lebowski, where it was the setting for the house of adult filmmaker Jackie Treehorn, the house has also appeared in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and has been used numerous times for high profile photo shoots.

The acquisition is just the start for LACMA, which said in a statement that the museum was looking for more properties to “develop a collection of important architectural homes” in which it could create “immersive art experiences”, also taking on essential care and preservation costs for the properties it acquires.

James Goldstein  Big Lebowski  Los Angeles County Museum of Art   LACMA  Museum  Gallery 
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The owner of a US$40m (€36m, £28m) luxury house, famous for its role in 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski, is to donate the property to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) with the intention of turning it into a museum and example of creativity within architecture. James Goldstein, who owns the Sheats Goldstein residence in the Hollywood hills, has pledged the building to LACMA, along with its gardens,
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James Goldstein, who owns the Sheats Goldstein residence in the Hollywood hills, has pledged the building to LACMA
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