This past Monday I was fortunate enough to attend the Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles, as tickers are free but have been booked for several months in advance. The Broad Museum is a relatively new addition to the Los Angeles landscape, yet it still is an interesting blob of architecture and art.
The plans for the The Broad were set in motion around 2008. Eli Broad, an East Coast wealthy Fortune 500 company owner, had been searching for a long time to place his museum. Ultimately he decided on building it on Wilshire and Santa Monica, across from the Disney Concert Hall. Interestingly enough, Eli Broad also helped provide funding for the Disney Concert Hall, so it seems fitting that the Broad was built across from it. The building itself was designed by Diller Scofidio, a design company from New York. The incorporated much of the design from non-Euclidean geometry, which is essentially an unorthodox and free flowing design that doesn’t appear to pull much from past works of architecture. On the other hand, the museum’s plaza is where we can finally see a connection to Los Angeles history. It houses several 100-year-old Barouni Olive trees, which have been grown in California since the Spanish missions arrived in the 18th century. These olives around 20 years ago were about 8% of California’s olive harvest, and at this point are now considered an endangered crop. So although somewhat foreign, the Broad does have some roots to LA history.
Another important aspect is the art itself. Although it is not specific to LA art, but it does contain work from many well respected artist. I do think, however, that one could compare The Broad to Hearst Castle. They are both collections of art and design that do not belong to them, and one could say that they are compiled in the same unsightly manner. This opinion is subjective of course, so whether this opinion will become true, in the meantime I highly recommend attending the Broad while tickets are still free.