I remember driving by this Museum when it was under construction and feeling consumed by its uniqueness and beauty. Its stark white façade against Downtown LA’s general greyness – partly due to the smog cloud – is refreshing. The geometric jagged lines of the building edges against the clear blue sky above feels just poetic. Upon doing research on the Museum I was absolutely excited to visit. Museeum KIDS had a fantastic visit.
Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad financed the $140 Million dollar building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It has 50,000 SF of exhibition space over 2 floors with 318 skylights built into the roof to bring in natural light through the entire building. The perforated building envelope also works to bring in light from the outside. It houses nearly 2000 pieces of contemporary art including works by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Barbara Kruger and Jean Michel Basquiat to name a few. The Museum is free to the public, and it is recommended to reserve tickets online.
Special exhibitions do require paid admittance. The Broad collaborates their programs with nearby RedCat, Teagram Ballroom and the Orpheum Theatre to feature film screenings and musical performances. As we awaited our entry time at the park plaza adjacent to the building, the kids could not help but run around the large grass field and interact with the building by running their hands all over the smooth surface. The building just begs to be explored close up.
Moving through the building was an adventure. It was fun traveling into the rotund elevator and looking up to the glass ceiling which opens up to one of the skylights. It is a surreal sensation moving up in what feels like a tube, as the ground under you ascends into the second floor the entire structure of the elevator suddenly seems to be made out of glass. The entire floor opens up and every artwork and activity in the area is completely visible all around from the elevator. It evokes a strange sense of self-consciousness as it feels as though you have emerged from the ground as a piece of artwork yourself. The collection itself is eclectic and impressive, and did not cease to delight the kids. The Jeff Koons sculptures which are dispersed throughout the space were the most attention grabbing.
‘Tulips’ were excitedly discussed as “BIG shiny lollipops” amongst the two, and ‘Rabbit’ was an immediate favorite of my daughter who demanded that I took pictures of her and cuddles – the name she has decided to give him. My son particularly liked Chris Burden’s ‘Bateau de Guerre’ as it was a boat that looked ready for child’s play. The Basquiat series was really fun for him as he talked about all of the small details in the drawings that interested him, noting for example that the “dog has so many nipples!” - as only a 2-year-old can be so excited about.
In lieu of having lunch at the Museum restaurant, Otium, we wanted a more casual experience. We opted to have sandwiches and pizzas at Vespaio, a gorgeous restaurant with café at the building across the park plaza. The food was divine and much more affordable. It’s a great alternative for families.
The Broad will engage kids and adults alike. It is the perfect destination for a Museum going family.