Los Angeles can now add brand new museum owner to its resume. The contemporary art Broad museum opened it doors on September 20th. The 120,000 square foot museum was designed by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler. The museum has been named for the philanthropist Eli Broad who has paid for the building worth $140 million.
The current exhibit which will go until the spring has artwork from 60 artists that include Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Mike Kelley, and Jeff Koons.
The entrance to the museum is free but the online ticket reservations have already filled up over a month in advance, so it might take some planning ahead to actually get in there. One of the current exhibits also requires a separate ticket, since the exhibit only lets one person in at a time for 45 seconds each. The exhibit is an LED light display by Yayoi Kusama called the “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away”.
The opening of the museum has been long awaited. Eli Broad and the Broad Art Museum Committee have been trying to decide on the right location for the museum since 2008. In 2010 Broad formally announced that the museum would be somewhere downtown, and then proceeded to host a competition between six architects to decide who’s design he would be using to create the museum. They ultimately went with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and chose a location adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The design of the building is based on a concept called “the veil and the vault”. The “veil” porous, honeycomb like texture that covers the outside of the building, while the “vault” is the concrete interior that makes up the core of the building. The museum is three stories tall, with exhibit space on two of those floors. There are 318 skylight monitors that allow sunlight into the roof from the north side only. At the lobby in the entrance there are mobile dives as opposed to having real people work the lobby.
The plaza of the museum includes a grove of olive trees that are over 100 years old, and a free-standing restaurant called Otium. The restaurant welcomes executive chef Timothy Hollingsworth who was formerly the head chef at the restaurant The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California.
The current collection of art at the museum does not reflect the projected end result of the museum either. While the have chosen 60 artists to be in the permanent collection, eventually the museum will house works of art by over 200 artists, and come in at around 2,000 works of contemporary art.
For the most part the museum will continue to offer admission to everyone, but at some point they might have special exhibits that they charge for. The Broad museum’s endowment is currently larger than any other Los Angeles museum besides The Getty.