© Margo Leavin. Courtesy photographer Joe Schildhorn
© Patrick McMullan.
Born in 1936 in New York, she spent her entire career in Los Angeles. In 1970, she opened the Margo Leavin Gallery in West Hollywood, in what was then the studio of designer Tony Duquette. She remained at the helm until its closure in 2013, enlarging her premises to adjacent buildings, including a former post office that served as an exhibition space. When the gallery closed, it had over 400 shows to its credit. A longstanding figure in the modern and contemporary scene who supported a wide variety of emerging and established creators, Margo Leavin mounted important early exhibitions of California artists like Billy Al Bengston, Joe Goode, Ed Moses and Tom Wudl, and then represented several New Yorkers, including John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin and Ellsworth Kelly. In June 2016, she donated $20 million to the UCLA School of Art and Architecture for the rebuilding and expansion of the studio's outdated facilities. The complex was renamed UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios in her honor.