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The Broad
contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles
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The Broad
contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles
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221 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, California
United States

jtucker's picture

Contributor

With private art museums on the rise, it comes as no surprise that Los Angeles power couple Eli and Edythe Broad decided to jump on the bandwagon.

They've validated their position as top tier art collectors by opening their own private art museum. And lets face it, the tax breaks they're getting must be pretty sweet too.

When moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, billionaire Eli Broad felt that LA was missing the pizzazz of rich artistic culture, so he decided to create one himself. The Broads began by donating massive sums to all the local art museums, holding positions on the boards of many cultural institutions, and organizing fundraising events for creative venues (most notably the Walt Disney Concert Hall). While this philanthropic bender would be sufficient to most, the Broad’s were not satiated. The Broad’s yearned to see the seedy skid row stricken streets of downtown Los Angeles become the shining glory of this city and a force to be reckoned with in the art world. So what better way to do that, reasoned the Broads, than to construct a $140 million dollar building and fill it with the most notable artists of our time?    

The Broad museum is home to over 2,000 works from Eli and Edythe’s personal art collections. The Broad’s taste in art is blue chip contemporary to the max. You will see all the biggest (and most expensive) names in the modern art world within these walls. The Broads also seem to exhibit a proclivity towards the big, bizarre, and often controversial.

While the work that finds refuge in this sanctuary are celebrities in their own right, the patronage of this institution has been nothing less than fanatical. In typical LA fashion, the Broad has constructed an aura of hip meets sophistication, which explains why entrance to this museum has been booked solid since opening in September 2015. If you can manage to snag yourself one of those coveted entrance tickets and are willing to stand in lines that sometimes circle the block, you can rejoice in the fact that visiting this museum is completely free.    

This fashionable reputation has become evident through the fact that the average visitor is only 32 years old, 14 years younger than the national average age of art museums attendance in the US according to the National Endowment for the Arts. So, if you are looking for the new and exciting thing to do in LA, you might want to consider dropping by the Broad. Everyone else seems to be doing it. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about The Broad

The Broad (/brd/) is a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. The museum is named for philanthropist Eli Broad, who financed the $140 million building which houses the Broad art collections. The museum offers free general admission to its permanent collection galleries. It opened on September 20, 2015.

History

Since 2008, Eli Broad and the Broad Art Foundation had been considering different sites for a museum for the art collection. In November 2008, the news surfaced that Broad had approached Beverly Hills about building his museum at the southeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. In January 2010, he revealed that he was considering a 10-acre parcel on the campus of West Los Angeles College in Culver City. Meanwhile, in March 2010, the Santa Monica City Council approved an agreement in principle to lease the city-owned 2.5-acre parcel next to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to Eli Broad for $1 a year for 99 years while also contributing $1 million toward design costs. Broad would have paid the rest, an estimated $50 million to $70 million.

In August 2010, Eli Broad announced formally that he would build a museum in Downtown Los Angeles. He agreed to pay $7.7 million for a 99-year lease. Officially characterized as a grant, the money subsidized affordable-housing units at The Emerson, a high-rise residential tower next to the museum. The agreement also includes an $8.5-million government share of the cost of the museum's outdoor plaza and government payments of up to $30 million to reimburse Broad for building the museum's underground parking garage. Under that buy-back provision, the garage eventually will be government-owned.

In an invited architectural competition for the project in 2010, six architects were asked to present preliminary designs. They included Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture; Swiss pair Herzog & de Meuron; Christian de Portzamparc from Paris; Japanese duo Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA; and Diller Scofidio + Renfro from New York. Diller Scofidio + Renfro were eventually chosen by Broad to design the approximately 120,000-square-foot museum, which includes exhibition space, offices and a parking garage.

In February 2015, Eli and Edythe Broad hosted a public preview of the new building, attracting some 3,500 visitors.

The museum was opened by Broad and his wife on September 20, 2015. Celebrities in attendence included Bill Clinton, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Perry, Heidi Klum, and Larry King, among others.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about The Broad.