*once a week, every week, I embark on a new adventure to check off one of my many LA bucket list items. Follow along my journey being a tourist in my own town and get in on the action!*
Over the past year we have watched the gorgeous structure that is now The Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles fully come to life before our eyes. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, The Broad Museum is home to more than 2,000 works of art in the Broad Collection, all of which are notable modern and contemporary pieces. ‘Notable’ like ‘textbook’, ‘Art 101’, ‘historic’ notable – the kind of art that makes you say to yourself, “I can’t believe I’m standing in front of this.” I had plenty of those moments myself; I graduated with a degree in Art from Chapman and contemporary/modern art history classes were among my favorites from the program. Seeing so many great works at the Broad was like meeting an extension of my art school idols in a sense. To be that close up in person to some of the creations I’ve admired and drawn inspiration from such as works by Mark Bradford, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Chuck Close and many, many more was a bit surreal.
I’ve been to the LACMA and plenty of LA’s other reputable museums but there’s something special, and concise, about the Broad’s particular collection. I was told by a docent that what was currently on display was only about 10% of the Broad collection as a whole. I can hardly imagine what else this collection must house! Some of the more impressive works on display right now were the large scale paintings and fiberglass/plastic cartoon figurines by famed and beloved Japanese artist Murakami, and the iconic large scale “ballon” steel pieces created by Jeff Koons. The more notable and widely recognizable works featured were famed pieces done by artists Basquiat, Warhol, Haring, Lichtenstein, Robert Longo, and Barbara Kruger.
Your museum visit won’t take you much longer than 2 hours if you visit every single room and installation. The Kusama ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ installation is probably the most buzzed about exhibit in the museum, and because of its popularity there’s a chance you might not be able to experience it if reservations fill up (which they will!). However, regardless of what art is on display, visiting the Broad Museum is an absolute must. Los Angeles is one fortunate city to be home to so many museums with such incredible collections, and even if you’re not necessarily an art buff it’s worth going to the Broad and appreciating the space and the intention for what it is. Every single piece they house has made some sort of cultural and historical impact, and there’s just no getting around having some serious respect for that.
What: The Broad Museum
Where: 221 S. Grand Ave (Downtown) Los Angeles, CA 90012
Monday | Closed
Tuesday and Wednesday | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday and Friday | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tip: Get your FREE admission tickets online in advance. Many days are already full through the end of the year so think ahead! If you’ve got a date in mind that is not available for an advanced reservation, you are welcome to join the onsite ticketing line any day the museum is open. If you wait day of you are not guaranteed entry as entrance is based off of a first come first serve basis – so come early if you are without a reservation!
Bonus Tip: If you’d like to experience Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room installation, which if you’ve seen any photos from the inside trust me you do, be sure to try to reserve your space as early as possible. As I experienced and first-hand failed, the times to experience the installation fill up quickly, and if you don’t get yourself on the list ASAP you will miss your opportunity to spend 45 seconds of glorious alone time in this incredible looking space. Don’t be like me and miss this!
Extra Bonus Tip: TRY to limit your photo taking. I realize photography is allowed, but the point of going to a museum is to be present and experience the art, not experience it later through your phone. It’s one thing to take interesting photos of something you love about the museum to share on your social media accounts, once, but it’s another to obsess over it and forget what you’re there for to begin with! Be. Mindful. Be present. Memories + experience + education > your Instagram/Facebook status or fictions photo album. Now go and have a grand ol’ time!