The Broad Museum opened about 6 months ago; it’s a new contemporary art museum home to over 2,000 works of art collected by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife Edythe.
Surrounded by the Walt Disney Concert hall, the Music Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Broad is located on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Its amazing honeycomb-like exoskeleton is unique and has already made it an architectural landmark in downtown L.A.
Joanne Heyler, the museum’s director and chief curator, describes it as “This shell of sorts, this light filter, this amazing sculptural structure … enrobes the museum.”
The Broad collection of contemporary art is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide, and general admission is free. Eli Broad, 82, says “We want this to be a gift to the city of Los Angeles. We’ve been collectors now going on 45 years. We wanted to share it with the broadest possible public…that’s why we have free admission.”
Starting on the top floor you’ll see works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman and Chris Burden.
There’s an entire room with works by Takashi Murakami, which includes the extremely popular, vibrant, 82-foot-long painting, “In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow” — featuring demons, dragons and ships roiling in a tsunami. It’s one of the museum’s biggest attractions, and one definitely not to miss.
The first floor of the Broad showcases newer artists, many from the L.A. area, as well as video installations, and a chilling drawing of the police in Ferguson, Missouri.
The shining star of the first floor, and possibly the whole museum, is undoubtedly Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” a mirror-lined chamber housing a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display. It’s become THE place to take a selfie, and a viral meme on Facebook and Instagram. Admission to the Infinity Mirrored Room is free but requires reservations made on-site, first come, first served.
Other social media stars, according to the museum, are Glenn Ligon’s neon sign “Double America 2,” Koons’ multicolored, metallic “Tulips,” Robert Therrien’s massive dining room set “Under the Table” and the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Reserved tickets for specific times to the Broad are sold out months ahead of time, though you can wait in a “standby” line. The line is typically a 45-minute wait on weekdays and twice that on weekends. Most people don’t seem to mind much — the line usually looks like a bustling social scene. Many grab food from the food trucks and then make their way to the line, where they make new friends while they wait.
Where: 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
Hours: 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, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays; closed Mondays
Reservations: Required if you want to ensure admission at a particular time. Reservations can be made online at www.thebroad.org/tickets. Tickets have entry times beginning every half hour, but visitors can stay as long as they would like until closing.
Starting June 11, the Broad Museum will charge $12 admission to their new exhibit, Cindy Sherman’s “Imitation of Life”, which will be on display in the first floor gallery until Oct. 2. The Cindy Sherman exhibit will be free for children 18 and under.
General admission to the museum’s permanent collection on the third floor will remain free, as will the Instagram-favorite Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room exhibit.