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BROADENING HORIZONS : LA

The recently unveiled Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles has in its infancy already reached its first milestone with an estimated 200,000 visitors entering its doors by the close of 2015. 

 

WORDS BY FINNIAN MULLALY MUSCHINSKI & IMAGES BY THE BROAD

 

Anticipation is now at a new high point as the much anticipated schedule for the Winter-Spring 2016 Season is unveiled, promising more delights for contemporary art lovers. “The public reception to The Broad has been overwhelming and has exceeded our expectations,” stated founder Eli Broad “Before we opened, we projected annual attendance of around 300,000 visitors, based on museums of similar size. We’re well on our way to exceeding that.” The Broad which opened in September 2015, is now the crowing glory of downtown Los Angeles burgeoning art scene, located across the road from Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

 

Built by life-long art collectors and well known philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the Broad Museum is their gift to the people of Los Angeles and America collectivity. Admission to the Diller Scofinfio + Renfro designed building is free and is earmarked to stay like this, truly a contemporary art museum built for and loved by the people of LA. Admission entitles one to a spectacular feast of the senses, as one encounters the inaugural installations drawn from two collections of more than 2,000 works of contemporary art including the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Mark Bradford and Kara Walker. The Broad, which cost an estimated 140 Million US dollars has in its infancy already created a global publicity storm, which is heralding its birth as one of the greatest for the appreciation of contemporary art in the 21st Century. The current installation of artworks are drawn from the personal collections of the Broads and The Broad Art Foundation, chronologically displaying the installation starting with works from the 1950's by artists of the likes of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. Then comes Pop art of the 1960s, an area of specialty for the Broad, well represented through the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. Then continuing to the 1980s when The Broad Art Foundation was established, with an excellent plethora of works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons. Continuing to the present day with many works by emerging contemporary artists, given patron by the Broads. 

 

One of the key and defining factors of The Broads uniqueness is its design. Upon entering the lobby of the museum, visitors travel up a 105-foot escalator emerging into the third-floor gallery, which features 23-foot ceilings and 318 skylights that filter diffused sunlight into the gallery space, allowing for a atmosphere which maxamises appreciation of height. The Grand Avenue elevation of the building is seemingly ‘glad wrapped’ in a exquisite exoskeleton made of white concrete panels and steel, evoking reminiscences of sun dried white coral. Adjacent to the Museum is a 24,000-square-foot outdoor public plaza, also designed by DS+R, which features as it focal point, a grove of 100-year-old Barouni olive trees and large lawns, reiterating once more the fact of the museum being a gift to the people of Los Angeles. The Broad Museum has become a must-see for any traveler to Los Angeles,  so i'd be sure not to miss this one!.

 

 

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays.