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.