It's been a long time coming, but now that The Broad has officially opened its doors, Angelenos know that the wait was worth it. This new museum of contemporary art is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, in an already iconic building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler.
The Broad is one of L.A.'s newest museums, located in the heart of downtown — Photo courtesy of The Broad/Warren Air
Funded by billionaire real-estate developer Eli Broad and his philanthropist wife Edythe, The Broad houses the couple's massive modern art collection. Boasting over 2,000 significant pieces, all created by artists in the last 50 years, the Broad's contemporary collection is considered one of the world's greatest.
From Jean-Michel Basquiat to Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Cindy Sherman, Robert Rauschenberg and many more, this landmark museum is a significant addition to the cultural and intellectual landscape of Los Angeles.
The new Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles — Photo courtesy of The Broad/Benny Chan
The 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building itself is also a work of art, with its innovative "veil and vault" concept drawing worldwide accolades. The "veil" is the honeycomb structure visitors see from the outside, which allows in natural light and creates the gallery space inside.
The "vault" really is a vault, which holds the elements of the collection that are not on display. As visitors enter, the vault has a massive presence above their heads. Be sure to look for the special viewing windows located in strategic points of the vault to take a peek at this innovative storage area.
The interior of The Broad contemporary art museum, with a view of "the vault" above — Photo courtesy of The Broad/Iwan Baan
The always-free-admission museum's galleries stretch across three floors, with the Inaugural Installation (which opened on September 20, 2015) spanning all three.
Begin on the third floor to see works by major artists who came to prominence in the 1950s, including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly, then move on to the 1960s, for a look at the Pop Art movement, featuring works by Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. That period makes up a large part of the Broad's collection, so expect to see some of those wry takes on pop culture no matter when you choose to visit.
The Inaugural Installation continues into the 1980s, showing pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons.
Finally, on the first-floor gallery, present-day artists are revealed, with works including a huge, immersive, nine-screen video piece by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and an 82-foot-long painting by Takashi Murakami.
This new southern California museum is also home to The Broad Art Foundation, which was created in 1984 as a lending library dedicated to increasing public access to contemporary art through a loan program.
The museum also offers special events and programs. For both events and general admission, visitors can reserve tickets online via The Broad's website.