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The Broad: The Los Angeles Museum with an Impressive Array of Postwar Art

Jesús Rosado

The Museum was financed by philanthropists Edythe & Eli Broad and houses their personal collection of more than 2,000 works of art.



The Broad, the contemporary art museum in the heart of Los Angeles, opened its doors to the public on September 20th 205, immediately establishing itself as an attractive architectural landmark in the largest city in the western United States.

The Broad
Side view of museum.

Founded by philanthropists Edythe and Eli Broad, the Museum hosts more than two thousand works of art from the Broad Collection, considered one of the world’s most impressive pools of postwar art. Eli Broad said this museum represented a way to show gratitude to the city "making art accessible to as many people as possible."

Located on Grand Avenue and close to the Walt Disney Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, the museum was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro studio in collaboration with Gensler, at a cost of $140 million. The 120,000-square-foot (36,000 square meters) construction, which includes a restaurant and a community garden, was started 15 years ago. Joanne Heyler, director of the institution, calls the emblematic building "a work of art”.  

The Broad
Edythe and Eli Broad, Founders.

In essence, the museum displays some 250 works by 60 artists— marking a chronological journey through the Broad Collection. The pieces on view range from the 1950s to the 1990s, including works by modern masters such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

Social and political art are represented in this unique collection with works such as Your Body is a Battleground by Barbara Kruger, and Robert Longo`s drawings depicting the Ferguson upheaval. Also in the tone of social commentary, the museum boast pieces signed by David Wojnarowicz, Cady Noland, Kara Walker, Anselm Kiefer, and Mike Kelley. One of these pieces deserve a special mention: In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, a 24-meter (75-foot mural) by Takashi Murakami.

The collection contains outstanding examples of urban art created by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Koons. There are also works of the late 20th and early 21st centuries from artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Longo, Ragnar Kjartansson, Glenn Ligon, Andreas Gursky and Julie Mehretu, among others.

The Broad
Doug Aitken; West, 2008. © Doug Aitken

According to Heyler, the exhibition tries to give the public a general idea of the treasures the museum holds. Their aim is to encourage visitors to return and discover other masterpieces that are not on view at the moment, along with future additions to the collection.

Prominent personalities such as former President Bill Clinton, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and countless Hollywood celebrities attended the events leading to the inauguration, as well as the opening gala.

On opening day, the long line of visitors at The Broad Museum surpassed 3,000 guests who had received free passes online, according to representatives of the institution. It was noted that reservations have exceeded one hundred thousand visitors for the first months. Other great museums in Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum.

PHOTOS: © Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging.

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