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The Broad

Coordinates: 34°03′16″N 118°15′04″W / 34.0544°N 118.2510°W / 34.0544; -118.2510
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The Broad
The Broad museum, 2017
EstablishedSeptember 20, 2015 (2015-09-20)
Location221 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, United States
Coordinates34°03′16″N 118°15′04″W / 34.0544°N 118.2510°W / 34.0544; -118.2510
TypeArt museum
Collection sizeAlmost 2,000
FounderEli Broad and Edythe Broad
Public transit access Los Angeles Metro Rail
E Line  E Line
A Line  A Line
at Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill

The Broad[1] (/brd/) is a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. The museum is named for philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, who financed the $140 million building that houses the Broad art collections.[2] It offers free general admission to its permanent collection galleries.[2] However, not all of its events are free and admission prices may vary by exhibit and/or by event. It opened on September 20, 2015.[3]


Since 2008, Eli and Edythe 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 Eli 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 just outside 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 to design the approximately 120,000-square-foot museum, which includes exhibition space, offices and a parking garage.[10][11]

In February 2015, Eli and Edythe Broad hosted a public preview of the new building, attracting some 3,500 visitors.[12]

The museum was opened by the Broads on September 20, 2015.[13] Celebrities in attendance included Bill Clinton, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Perry, Heidi Klum, and Larry King, among others.[14]


Stairs to the third floor

Original building[edit]

The Broad is housed in a new building designed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler and structural engineering firm Leslie E. Robertson Associates.[15] Its cost has been estimated at $140 million.[16] 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[17] exterior while respecting its architectural presence by having a porous, "honeycomblike" exterior.[18] The 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 composed of 2,500 rhomboidal panels of fiberglass-reinforced concrete supported by a 650-ton steel substructure.[19] The "vault" is a concrete body which forms the core of the building, dedicated to storage, laboratories, curatorial spaces and offices.[20] The vault is enveloped on all sides by the "veil," an airy, cellular exoskeleton structure that spans across the block-long gallery and provides filtered natural daylight.

The three-story museum has 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of exhibition space on two floors,[21] with 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) of column-free gallery space[19] on the third floor and 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) on the first.[22] The roof has 318 skylight monitors that admit diffused sunlight from the north.[19] In the non-Euclidean lobby,[13] there is no front desk; instead, visitor-services associates greet guests with mobile devices.[23] Lobby and exhibitions spaces are connected by a 105-foot escalator and a glass-enclosed elevator.[24]

Plans for expansion[edit]

In 2024, The Broad announced a $100-million, 55,000-square-foot addition behind the existing structure, which would increase gallery space by 70 percent.[25] Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the addition is to take the form of a second building connecting to the original museum via a third-floor door and passageway leading to a courtyard with views of the sky.[26]

Museum plaza[edit]

In early 2014, plans were published for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) public plaza adjacent to The Broad, to be overseen and maintained by the museum as part of its agreement with the city.[27] Designed by the museum's architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and landscape architect Walter Hood, the plaza, with other streetscape improvements, is estimated to have cost $18 million, with about $10 million coming from redevelopment funds and $8 million from the museum.[28] It features a grove of 100-year-old Barouni olive trees.[19]


The museum's unorthodox facade, which the architects refer to as the "veil", was unusually difficult to fabricate, leading to delays in construction.[28] In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2014, the museum sued German fabricator Seele GmbH, Zurich American Insurance Company and the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland[29] for $19.8 million in damages for allegedly failing to deliver the facade's components on schedule.[16] The Broad and Seele subsequently agreed to continue work on the museum and to face off later over the dispute.[30]


View into the museum's vaults

The Broad houses a nearly 2,000-piece collection of contemporary art featuring 200 artists,[30] including works by Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, including a 1963 "Single Elvis" by the latter. The museum suggested in 2015 that it was acquiring the "Single Elvis", which sent the prices of pop art to unprecedented levels.

Other notable installations include Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013), Ragnar Kjartansson's expansive nine-screen[31] 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).[16] The museum also owns the largest collection of Cindy Sherman works worldwide, with 129 pieces.[32]

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."[13]

The building also serves as headquarters for the Broad Art Foundation's lending library of contemporary works.[30]


The Broad's inaugural exhibition featured a selection of more than 250 paintings, sculptures and photographs[17] by more than 60 artists drawn exclusively from the permanent collection,[24] including John Ahearn, El Anatsui,[13] Richard Artschwager,[33] 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,[34] Jasper Johns, Mike Kelley, Ellsworth Kelly (four paintings),[24] William Kentridge,[13] Anselm Kiefer, Ragnar Kjartansson, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Sherrie Levine, Roy Lichtenstein (10 paintings),[24] 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),[24] David Wojnarowicz and Christopher Wool.[17][21]


The museum includes a free-standing restaurant on its plaza, Otium – 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.[31] 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.[34]



As of 2014, The Broad's endowment is at $200 million, thereby larger than any museum in Los Angeles except for the Getty Museum.[16] The overall annual budget is $16 million, which is provided for through established funds.[35] The museum offers mostly free admission to the public, but will charge for temporary special exhibitions.[30]


Besides Eli and Edythe Broad, the Broad's Board of Governors 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.[36]

The museum's director is art historian Joanne Heyler.[31]


In its first year, The Broad attracted 753,000 visitors, roughly equivalent to the 2011 attendance at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).[37] In 2019, more than 900,000 people visited.[38]


  1. ^ Cotter, Holland. (September 12, 2015). Review: The Broad Is an Old-Fashioned Museum for a New Gilded Age. The 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". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  3. ^ Vankin, Deborah (2015-09-21). "The heat and the lines couldn't keep them from the Broad on opening day". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  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. ^ Fleishman, Jeffrey (2015-08-22). "How Edye Broad's 'natural eye' drew her billionaire husband into the art world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  12. ^ Kelly Crow (May 26, 2015), Eli and Edythe Broad Build a Museum for Their Art Collection WSJ..
  13. ^ a b c d e Philip Kennicott (September 19, 2015). "The problem with The Broad is the collection itself". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  14. ^ Ellen Olivier (September 19, 2015), Bill Clinton headlines another star-studded guest list at Broad museum's second 'opening night' Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Sarah Amelar (September 2015), L.A. Screenplay: An art museum lifts its perforated veil, revealing the repository for its vast holdings. Architectural Record
  16. ^ a b c d Jori Finkel (June 4, 2014), Eli Broad says patience is not his strong point The Art Newspaper.
  17. ^ a b c Holland Cotter (September 12, 2015), Review: The Broad Is an Old-Fashioned Museum for a New Gilded Age The New York Times.
  18. ^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (January 11, 2011). "Not All Sweetness in a Honeycomb Museum". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d Eddie Kim (September 15, 2015), How Architect Elizabeth Diller Drew Up The Broad Los Angeles Downtown News.
  20. ^ "Los Angeles: A veil-and-vault dream of art is coming - The Broad". Inexhibit. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  21. ^ a b David Ng (August 21, 2015), Broad museum to show more than 250 works in inaugural display Los Angeles Times.
  22. ^ Christopher Hawthorne (August 30, 2015), The new Broad museum, though efficiently designed, really only comes alive on the periphery Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ Marcy Medina (September 8, 2015). Los Angeles' Newest Museum: A Preview of The Broad Women's Wear Daily.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Jessica Gelt (March 27, 2024), The Broad announces massive expansion that will increase gallery space by 70% Los Angeles Times.
  26. ^ Jessica Gelt (March 27, 2024), The Broad announces massive expansion that will increase gallery space by 70% Los Angeles Times.
  27. ^ Jori Finkel (February 9, 2014), Broad Museum in Los Angeles Delays Opening Until 2015, The New York Times.
  28. ^ a b Christopher Hawthorne (February 10, 2014), Broad museum plaza is welcome, but who will own it? Los Angeles Times.
  29. ^ Mike Boehm (June 3, 2014), Broad Collection sues engineering firm Seele Inc. over museum facade Los Angeles Times.
  30. ^ a b c d David Ng (October 29, 2014), Broad museum sets sights on fall 2015 opening in downtown Los Angeles Los Angeles Times.
  31. ^ a b c Robin Pogrebin (April 12, 2015), At the Helm of a Philanthropist's New Los Angeles Museum, The New York Times.
  32. ^ Deborah Vankin (July 29, 2016), The Broad acquires 29 new works, keeping an eye on local artists Los Angeles Times.
  33. ^ Eric Gibson (September 16, 2015), The Art of The Broad: A Consensus Collection, The Wall Street Journal.
  34. ^ a b Jessica Gelt (September 14, 2015), Damien Hirst mural to adorn new Broad restaurant Otium Los Angeles Times.
  35. ^ Scarlet Cheng (18 February 2022), Eli Broad’s legacy in Los Angeles endures The Art Newspaper.
  36. ^ The Broad Collection Board of Governors Archived 2013-05-14 at the Wayback Machine The Broad.
  37. ^ Javier Pes, José da Silva, Emily Sharpe (March 29, 2017), figures 2016: Christo helps 1.2 million people to walk on water[permanent dead link] The Art Newspaper.
  38. ^ Scarlet Cheng (18 February 2022), Eli Broad’s legacy in Los Angeles endures The Art Newspaper.

External links[edit]