It was an honor to be invited to the opening of The Broad last week and join Edye and Eli in the celebration of their stunning collection installed in their very own museum. Our friendship began in the early 70’s when I was at Sotheby’s in the contemporary department. At that time, they had only three works of art. Early on it was Eli’s dream to create a contemporary museum for the city of Los Angeles. With his unique leadership skills, he founded MOCA which opened in 1983 designed by Arata Isozaki and with his expert philanthropic skills, recruited me to become a founding member.
They created the Broad Art Foundation in 1984 as they ran out of wall space for their increasing collection and lent to hundreds of museums and university galleries. In 1989, Joanne Heyler came on board as the Foundation’s director and chief curator and today is the founding director and chief curator of The Broad.
It was thrilling to see how Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s design met with the Broad’s various challenges. For example, how to build a museum next to the Disney Hall with all it’s exuberance, how to create space to provide flexibility for their vast collection of more than 2,000 works or art and still growing as well as on site storage and offices.
The column free exhibition gallery at the top of the building is reached through a long escalator. The quality of the works dazzled throughout! The Broads collected in depth and the following are many of the artists chosen for the inaugural exhibition by Warhol, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Kelly, Twombly, Basquiat, Hirst, Beuys, Haring, Kieffer, Koons, Kruger, Ligon, Walker, Murakami, Struth, Baldesaari, El Anatsui and Sherman.