The Broad is possibly the most Instagrammable place I’ve ever seen. Just browsing the tag #TheBroad, you’ll see what I mean.
The free museum (pronounced like BRO’D) is located in Downtown Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill and officially opened Sept. 20 courtesy of billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife Edythe. Eli Broad made his fortune in homebuilding and running an insurance company. Forbes estimates he is worth $7.4 billion.
And rich people buy art.
Over the years, the pair accumulated an insane collection of postwar and contemporary art. They wanted to find a permanent home so others could see it, so they built The Broad.
The outside looks like a giant white honeycomb. It was designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and I’m forever amazed at the smart humans who can actually build buildings like this.
The inside is just as impressive, with flowing, curved surfaces that surround a tall escalator to the third floor (where a lot of the gems are).
The museum will showcase more than 2,000 pieces on a rotating basis. The first floor features newer artists and Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. If you want to step in this magical room, be sure to reserve a spot on the touchscreen just outside of the room. You’ll receive a text on your phone when it’s close to your turn. On Tuesday, there was a two-hour wait just to see this.
Taking the glass elevator in the middle of the building will let you peek inside “the vault,” which stores other paintings, photos and sculptures in the Broads’ collection.
The top floor is beautiful with a lot of natural light. It features work from Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Takashi Murakami, Barbara Kruger and (my personal favorite) a giant table by Robert Therrien.
While stopping and staring at all the different pieces, I was thinking how ambiguous the term “contemporary art” is. What does it even mean? Simply going to see some “contemporary art” doesn’t sound that fun to me (which is funny because I went alone on my day off).
But the significance of contemporary work is that it mirrors culture and society in the 21st century. It’s a rich way to consider ideas. Simply looking at art does something for your brain too. It is visually stimulating. You think a little more, maybe even feel a little smarter.
And as previously noted, you’ll probably get a good photo op out of it.
If you plan to go, reserve tickets online. I did not do this and stood in the standby ticket line for about 35 minutes. Also, the museum has a free mobile app with audio tours about the artwork. One is even narrated by LeVar Burton.
The Broad is located at 221 S. Grand Avenue in Los Angeles.