I imagine that the Wall Street one-percent and those in the LA art scene know how to pronounce billionaire Eli Broad’s last name. However in my unofficial survey, everyone (including me) said broad not brode and, in fact, few had heard of Eli and Edythe Broad. I’m familiar with the name because whenever we visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I head directly for the Broad Contemporary Art Museum wing, designed by Renzo Piano. So when the Sweetie saw that Eli Broad’s new contemporary art museum was opening in downtown Los Angeles on September 20, he lurked on-line and pounced when the free tickets became available. The Broads not only financed the $140,000,000 museum building and purchased the $2 billion art collection, admission to The Broad is free and will always be free.
The inaugural installation, featuring masterworks chosen from the two thousand piece Broad collection, is chronologically displayed on first and third floor galleries called “the veil”. The entire collection, built by the Broads over the last fifty years, will be stored on the second floor in the 21,000 square feet mass called “the vault.” The third floor features artists who came into prominence in the 1950s through the 1990s, including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and more. Walking through the third floor was like wandering the aisles during an Oscar awards presentation—around every corner was another famous movie star. I’d seen pictures of these pictures, but it was exhilarating to see them in person.
Jean-Michel Basquiat had an entire room. I had only seen his pictures in books and was thrilled seeing them up close and personal.