The Broad

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The Broad (/brd/ US dict: brōd)[1] is a contemporary art museum in Downtown, Los Angeles. The museum is named for philanthropist Eli Broad, who is financing the $140 million building which houses the Broad art collections.[2] The museum offers free general admission to its permanent collection galleries.[2] It opened on September 20, 2015.[3]


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.[4] In January 2010, he revealed that he was considering a 10-acre parcel on the campus of West Los Angeles College in Culver City.[5] 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.[6]

In August 2010, Eli Broad announced formally that he would build a museum in Downtown Los Angeles.[7] 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.[8] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

In February 2015, Eli and Edythe Broad hosted a public preview of the new building, attracting some 3,500 visitors.[11]

The museum was due to be opened by Broad and his wife on Sunday September 20, 2015.[12]


Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles, under construction

The Broad is housed in a new building design by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with the final building costs estimated at $140 million.[13] With a location adjacent to Frank Gehry's iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, the museum's design is intended to contrast with its bright metallic perforated[14] exterior while respecting its architectural presence by having a porous, "honeycomblike" exterior.[15] The building design is based on a concept entitled “the veil and the vault”. “The veil” is a porous envelope that wraps the whole building, filtering and transmitting daylight to the indoor space. This skin is made of 2,500 rhomboidal panels made in fiberglass reinforced concrete supported by a 650-ton steel substructure.[16] “The vault” is a concrete body which forms the core of the building, dedicated to artworks storage, laboratories, curatorial spaces and offices.[17]

The three-story museum features 50,000 square feet (4,600 square metres) of exhibition space on two floors,[18] with 35,000 square feet (3,300 square metres) of column-free gallery space[16] on the third floor and 15,000 square feet (1,400 square metres) more on the first.[19] The roof has 318 skylight monitors that let in diffused sunlight from the north.[16] In the non-Euclidean lobby,[20] there is no front desk; instead, visitor-services associates greet guests with mobile devices.[21] Lobby and exhibitions spaces are connected by a 105-foot escalator and a glass-enclosed elevator.[22]

The structural engineer for The Broad is Leslie E. Robertson Associates.[23]

Museum plaza[edit]

In early 2014, plans were published for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 square metres) public plaza adjacent to the Broad, to be overseen and maintained by the museum as part of its agreement with the city.[24] Designed by the museum's architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and landscape architect Walter Hood, the plaza, with other streetscape improvements, is estimated to cost $18 million, with about $10 million coming from redevelopment funds and $8 million from the museum.[25] It features a grove of 100-year-old Barouni olive trees.[16]


The museum's unorthodox facade, which the architects refer to as the "veil," has proved very tricky to fabricate, leading to delays in the construction schedule.[25] In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2014, the museum sued German fabricator Seele, Zurich American Insurance Company, and the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland[26] for $19.8 million in damages for allegedly failing to deliver the components of the "veil" facade on schedule.[13] The Broad and Seele subsequently agreed to continue work on the museum and to face off later over the dispute.[27]


The Broad houses a nearly 2,000-piece collection of contemporary art, featuring 200 artists,[27] including works by Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Roy Liechtenstein. Notable installations include Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013), Ragnar Kjartansson’s expansive nine-screen[28] video The Visitors (2012), Julie Mehretu’s 24-feet-wide canvas Beloved (Cairo) (2013), and Goshka Macuga’s photo-tapestry Death of Marxism, Women of All Lands Unite (2013).[13]

The collection has been described by the Washington Post as including too much "high-end trash" but "even though the bad overwhelms the great, there are great works throughout." [12]

The building will also serve as headquarters for the Broad Art Foundation's lending library of contemporary works.[27]


The Broad's inaugural exhibition is to feature a selection of more than 250 paintings, sculptures and photographs[14] by more than 60 artists drawn exclusively from the permanent collection,[22] including John Ahearn, El Anatsui,[20] Richard Artschwager,[29] John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Mark Bradford, Chris Burden, Chuck Close, John Currin, Eric Fischl, Jack Goldstein, Mark Grotjahn, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst,[30] Jasper Johns, Mike Kelley, Ellsworth Kelly (four paintings),[22] William Kentridge,[20] Anselm Kiefer, Ragnar Kjartansson, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Sherrie Levine, Roy Lichtenstein (10 paintings),[22] Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart, Robert Longo, Goshka Macuga, Julie Mehretu, Takashi Murakami, Lari Pittman, Richard Prince, Neo Rauch,Robert Rauschenberg, Charles Ray, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Mark Tansey, Robert Therrien, Cy Twombly, Kara Walker, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol (11 paintings),[22] David Wojnarowicz and Christopher Wool.[14][18]


The museum will include a free-standing restaurant on its plaza, Otium — it is Latin for “leisure time” — which Eli Broad developed with Bill Chait of République and Bestia restaurants. It features Timothy Hollingsworth, a former head chef of The French Laundry in Napa Valley, as executive chef.[28] In September 2015, Isolated Elements, 2015, a photographic mural by the artist Damien Hirst was installed on the south facade of the restaurant; it measures nearly 84 feet by 32 feet and is based on Hirst's 1991 sculpture Isolated Elements Swimming in the Same Direction for the Purpose of Understanding, a wall-mounted cabinet filled with fish preserved in formaldehyde.[30]



As of 2014, The Broad’s endowment is at $200 million, thereby larger than any museum in Los Angeles except for the Getty Museum.[13] The museum will offer mostly free admission to the public, but will charge for temporary special exhibitions.[27]


Besides Eli and Edythe Broad, the Broad's Board of Governance also includes art dealer Irving Blum, Los Angeles Philharmonic CEO Deborah Borda, restaurateur Michael Chow, businessman Bruce Karatz, and former ambassador Robert H. Tuttle, among others.[31]

The museum's director is art historian Joanne Heyler.[28]


  1. ^ Cotter, Holland. (September 12, 2015). Review: The Broad Is an Old-Fashioned Museum for a New Gilded Age. New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Boehm, Mike (September 17, 2013). "A look inside Eli Broad's museum, which will offer free admission". LA Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mike Boehm (November 16, 2009), Cities compete for Broad museum: Santa Monica and Beverly Hills vie for the billionaire's art center as plans expand Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Mike Boehm (January 13, 2010), Eli Broad and the mysterious third museum site Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Mike Boehm (May 6, 2010), Broad says downtown art museum would draw better than one in Santa Monica Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ David Ng and Jori Finkel (August 24, 2010), Eli Broad says Grand Avenue will be site of new contemporary art museum Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ a b Mike Boehm (September 9, 2015), Eli Broad, white knight and lightning rod, gets ready to open his own museum Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Christopher Hawthorne (May 25, 2010), Two architectural firms are finalists for Broad museum project Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ David Ng and Jori Finkel (August 23, 2010), It's official: Eli Broad will build his art museum downtown; Diller Scofidio + Renfro will design Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Kelly Crow (May 26, 2015), Eli and Edythe Broad Build a Museum for Their Art Collection WSJ..
  12. ^ a b Philip Kennicott (September 19, 2015). "The problem with The Broad is the collection itself". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d Jori Finkel (June 4, 2014), Eli Broad says patience is not his strong point The Art Newspaper.
  14. ^ a b c Holland Cotter (September 12, 2015), Review: The Broad Is an Old-Fashioned Museum for a New Gilded Age New York Times.
  15. ^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (January 11, 2011). "Not All Sweetness in a Honeycomb Museum". New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d Eddie Kim (September 15, 2015), How Architect Elizabeth Diller Drew Up The Broad Los Angeles Downtown News.
  17. ^ "Los Angeles: A veil-and-vault dream of art is coming - The Broad". Inexhibit. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b David Ng (August 21, 2015), Broad museum to show more than 250 works in inaugural display Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ Christopher Hawthorne (August 30, 2015), The new Broad museum, though efficiently designed, really only comes alive on the periphery Los Angeles Times.
  20. ^ a b c Philip Kennicott (September 13, 2015), The problem with The Broad is the collection itself Washington Post.
  21. ^ Marcy Medina (September 8, 2015). Los Angeles’ Newest Museum: A Preview of The Broad Women's Wear Daily.
  22. ^ a b c d e Christopher Knight (September 13, 2015), Review: An early look in the Broad museum reveals a show that doesn't quite gel Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ Sarah Amelar (September 2015) , L.A. Screenplay: An art museum lifts its perforated veil, revealing the repository for its vast holdings. Architectural Record
  24. ^ Jori Finkel (February 9, 2014), Broad Museum in Los Angeles Delays Opening Until 2015 New York Times.
  25. ^ a b Christopher Hawthorne (February 10, 2014), Broad museum plaza is welcome, but who will own it? Los Angeles Times.
  26. ^ Mike Boehm (June 3, 2014), Broad Collection sues engineering firm Seele Inc. over museum facade Los Angeles Times.
  27. ^ a b c d David Ng (October 29, 2014), Broad museum sets sights on fall 2015 opening in downtown Los Angeles Los Angeles Times.
  28. ^ a b c Robin Pogrebin (April 12, 2015), At the Helm of a Philanthropist’s New Los Angeles Museum New York Times.
  29. ^ Eric Gibson (September 16, 2015), The Art of The Broad: A Consensus Collection Wall Street Journal.
  30. ^ a b Jessica Gelt (September 14, 2015), Damien Hirst mural to adorn new Broad restaurant Otium Los Angeles Times.
  31. ^ The Broad Collection Board of Governors The Broad.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°03′16″N 118°15′04″W / 34.0544°N 118.2510°W / 34.0544; -118.2510