Los Angeles

Inside the Skeleton of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum

Eli Broad addresses a crowd as Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Broad founding director Joanne Heyler look on. | Photo: Drew Tewksbury.

Amid scaffolding, construction workers, and a thin layer of concrete dust, the Broad contemporary art museum today opened its doors to journalists and cultural advisors to showcase the newest addition to downtown Los Angeles' pantheon of cultural institutions. The $140-million museum, set to open late in 2015 [updated], will showcase more than 2,000 art objects from the Broad Art Foundation and the personal collections of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. In addition, the site will become the headquarters to the Broad Art Foundation's lending library, which loans artwork to museums worldwide. According to Joanne Heyler, the founding director of the Broad and the chief curator of the Broad Art Foundation, the collections include more than 30 works by Jeff Koons, 120 images by Cindy Sherman, and 26 Andy Warhols. Works by German photographer Andreas Gursky as well as paintings by New York upstarts Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring also can be found in Broad's collections. Broad revealed today that general admission to the museum would be free and special exhibitions would charge a fee.

The core of the 120,000-square-foot building will be the solid three-floor base called "the vault," which will house the Broad archives. The third floor's 35,000-square-foot, exhibition space is expansive and airy; its ceiling soars 23 feet up, while being devoid of columns. The structure's exterior exhibits an interwoven lattice of 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels called "the veil," which Elizabeth Diller, of the museum's design architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, says creates an "elegant, light-filled room." The building, she says, makes a good neighbor to the sleek, opaque shapes of the adjacent Disney Hall. "The veil is coy. It is porous and brings in light."

Artbound ventured into the bones of the Broad for a behind-the-scenes look at the museum in progress.

Exterior of The Broad from 2nd Street and Grand Avenue | Image courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Ceiling at The Broad | Photo: Drew Tewksbury. Unfinished interior of the lobby | Photo: Drew Tewksbury. Lobby view from the north entrance with interior view of the glazing 
and veil. | Image courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Welders working on scaffolding in the lobby | Photo: Drew Tewksbury. Interior Construction of the Broad | Photo: Drew Tewksbury. Scaffolding and the Ceiling at the Broad | Photo: Drew Tewksbury. Third-floor gallery entrance with escalator, circular glass elevator and 
stairwell | Image courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The future site of the 102-foot escalator | Photo: Drew Tewksbury. The skeleton of a stairway at the Broad | Photo: Drew Tewksbury.

About the Author

Drew Tewksbury is a Los Angeles-based cultural journalist, editor, photographer, and multimedia producer. Tewksbury is the managing editor / co-producer for KCET-TV's Artbound, a transmedia project providing in-depth arts/cultur...
RSS icon
Previous Post
Next Post

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment  

section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline


Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline


Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline


A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline


Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.

Featured • More Columnists
Loading Columnists...