The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
California, United States
Phone: +1 (213) 232-6220
closed on: Mondays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Museum Type: Art
The Broad museum, Los Angeles 1

The Broad is a museum of modern and contemporary art in Downtown Los Angeles; opened on September 20, 2015, the museum is housed in an iconic building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects.

The 120,000-square-foot museum was designed by famed New York-based architectural office Diller Scofidio + Renfro; the building is an almost perfect box, enclosed by a light-transmitting perforated envelope, popularly known as “the veil”.
The Broad museum is located next to Walt Disney Concert Hall and close to the MOCA, with which it constitutes a remarkable ensemble of cultural institutions in Downtown L.A.

Above: a view of The Broad from Grand Ave.; photo by Mike Kelley, courtesy of The Broad

What to see at The Broad?
The museum’s collection, created by American philanthropists Eli and Edithe Broad, comprises over 2,000 pieces by American and European 20th and 21st-century artists including Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Juan Miró, Henry Moore, Jasper Johns, John Baldessari, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, Damien Hirst, Christopher Wool, Ellsworth Kelly, Cy Twombly, Yayoi Kusama, Andreas Gursky, and Jeff Wall, to a name just a few.

Program of events and visitor facilities
The Broad Art Museum contains temporary exhibition spaces, a multimedia space, a shop, educational and lecture rooms, a restaurant, and a public plaza with a garden planted with olive trees.
The program of events and activities of the museum includes special exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, live performances, workshops, and talks.

Jeff Koons, Tulips, The Broad museum, Los Angeles

Jeff Koons, Tulips, 1995-2004, mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating; permanent collection of The Broad; photo by Lisa’s Point of View (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Los Angeles | The Broad Museum by Diller, Scofidio+Renfro

The Broad, a new contemporary art museum envisioned by Eli and Edythe Broad, opened on September 20, 2015, at an exceptional location on Los Angeles’ Grand Avenue, close to the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

The Broad and Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

The Broad with the Walt Disney Concert Hall on the right; photo by Maciek Lulko (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall from The Broad museum

The Walt Disney Concert Hall, seen from The Broad; photo Travis Wise (CC BY 2.0).

Eli and Edythe Broad are among those rare individuals who perfectly embody the meaning of the term “philanthropist”. For five decades, they have supported and fostered education, scientific and medical research, and civic initiatives. But art has always had a special attraction for them. They have assembled two of the most important private collections of contemporary art in the world, and helped develop institutions such as MOMA in New York; in Los Angeles, MOCA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Broad Art Center at UCLA; and created the recently opened Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Roy Lichtenstein, The Broad museum, Los Angeles

Works by Roy Lichtenstein on view at The Broad; photo by Lisa’s Point of View (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Nevertheless, a proper home was needed for the impressive and still growing collection of post-war and contemporary art of the Broad Art Foundation, comprising more than 2,000 works, including masterpieces by some of the most renowned artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Broad is the brand new home for the collection.

The Broad museum, Los Angeles 2

Photo by Mike Kelley, courtesy of The Broad.

The Broad museum, Los Angeles, facade detail

Close-up view of the south-east facade of The Broad; photo Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0).

The museum’s building was conceived by design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, employing a unique concept, called “the veil and the vault”.

The vault is a “cavernous” space that accommodates the artworks storage, laboratories, and curatorial offices; different from most museums, this area is not secluded from the visitor’s view; it fills the middle of the building, almost “floating” over the lobby level underneath.

The Broad museum, Los Angeles, lobby

The museum’s lobby, photo by Mike Kelley, courtesy of The Broad.

Visitors, after passing through the entrance area, reach the impressive column-free exhibition gallery on the top floor by traversing through the concrete vault on a long escalator.
Emerging in the exhibition gallery, the other main element of the design can be fully appreciated: the veil is a translucent envelope, a “porous exoskeleton”, as DS+R call it, which wraps the entire building, filtering and transmitting daylight to the indoor space. This skin is made of 2,500 rhomboidal panels, molded of fiberglass-reinforced concrete, and supported by a steel substructure.

The Broad museum, Los Angeles, interior 1

The Broad’s central stair winds through the museum’s “vault”; photo by Mike Kelley courtesy of The Broad.

The Broad’s plaza
Just outside the building, Diller Scofidio + Renfro have created a new outdoor public space; it includes a restaurant and a public garden, bordered by an exceptional grove of 100-year-old olive trees.

The Broad museum, Los Angeles 3

Photo by Maciek Lulko (CC BY-NC 2.0).

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