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  • The Broad Museum’s building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

  • Installation view at The Broad Museum’s lobby

  • Installation view at The Broad Museum


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Inside The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

The highly anticipated Broad Museum opened its doors some days ago in downtown Los Angeles, located next to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and aiming to become one of the city’s most prominent spots for contemporary art. The museum stages the collection of business guru and philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, comprising more than 2,000 works of postwar and contemporary art. The Broad Museum’s $140-million building was designed by New York-based architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, exploring, according to the architects, the theme “the veil and the vault”.

The veil is, in this case, an impressive, all-white perforated structure of glass-reinforced concrete that resembles a honeycomb and filters the outside light. The vault, on the other hand, is a 120,000-sqaure-foot bunker that serves both as public exhibition space and collection storage. It includes two gallery spaces in the first and third floor, a cave-like ground level lobby, which features a spectacular 105-foot-long escalator that communicates with the galleries, and is furthermore home to The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.

Eli and Edythe Broad, who are also owners of the Edythe and Eli Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, have been collecting contemporary art over the last five decades, maintaining a close relationship with artists like Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman, while often mentoring young talents. Their extraordinary collection includes in-depth representations of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker, Christopher Wool, Joseph Beuys, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. For The Broad Museum’s inauguration show, the couple chose more than 250 works by artists like Andy Warhol and Anselm Kiefer, as well as two magnificent installations: Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room and Ragnar Kjartansson’s 360 degree nine-screen video, The Visitors.

The museum aspires to promote art by maintaining a diverse public programming and a free admission policy. “We are pleased to offer free general admission so that affordability isn’t a criteria to see the art,” Eli Broad explained in a statement. “We have been deeply moved by contemporary art and believe it inspires creativity and provokes and stimulates lively conversations. We hope visitors from Los Angeles and around the country and the world visit and are similarly enriched by this art.” The Broad Museum, 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Open Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, please visit www.thebroad.org