Since opening on Sept. 20, 2015 as L.A.’s’ newest contemporary art museum, The Broad has drawn more than 400,000 visitors from diverse backgrounds, according to attendance and survey data released in March 2016 by the museum. Located on Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A., The Broad was founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, regarded as one of the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art in the world.
The museum’s innovative “veil-and-vault” concept was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. The 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.
With an inaugural installation featuring 250 works drawn from the Broad collection, free general admission, and six-month attendance of 410,510 - well in excess of the museum’s initial projections for its first full year - The Broad has attracted visitors from a wide span of ages, ethnicities, geographies and familiarity with contemporary art.
An onsite survey of visitors to The Broad, conducted over the last three months by Morey Group, found that more than 70% were under the age of 34; six out of 10 identified their ethnicity as other than Caucasian; about 60% live in Los Angeles County; and more than 70% characterized their knowledge of contemporary art as beginner or intermediate.
“Our goal since the day we opened has been to make The Broad inclusive, welcoming and accessible to all, and we are delighted that our engaged and diverse audience is responding to the museum as the significant cultural resource and distinctive social space we hoped it would be,” said Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad. “We have worked to create a unique visitor experience so that the widest cross-section of the public - of every age and with a knowledge level of contemporary art ranging from novice to expert - can connect with the collection and the architecture, engage in dialogue and have an enjoyable and educational experience when they visit The Broad. We look forward to continuing to welcome even more visitors who are curious about the collection as well as repeat visitors who are already sharing favorite works in the collection with wider circles of friends and family.”
In comparison to a 2015 study of national art museums [Morey Group, 2015 National Art Museum Benchmark Report], The Broad has a dramatically more diverse audience than other art museums in the U.S., with 64% of visitors identifying their ethnicity as other than Caucasian, compared to a national art museum average of 23%. The average age of visitors to The Broad is 32, compared to a national art museum average of 45.8 years old.
Other survey results for The Broad showed:
- The median household income for visitors to The Broad is $65,365, compared to the national art museum median of $83,967, with 17% of visitors to The Broad earning less than $20,000 a year.
- Six out of ten visitors were from Los Angeles County, with 10% of visitors from around the country, and 10% international visitors.
- Nearly one-third of visitors came to The Broad with four or more people, while 14% attended with children.
- Nearly 20% of visitors walked, biked, took a cab or ride service or used public transportation to get to the museum.
Additional demographic information about The Broad’s audience is available online.
“Edye and I could not be more pleased that The Broad is attracting a wide, young audience, which we think makes sense because contemporary art reflects the time in which we live,” said Eli Broad. “We want the public to have access to art, and we hope that by presenting dynamic exhibitions in addition to the permanent collection, people will want to visit again and again.”
Artists in The Broad’s inaugural installation include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Damien Hirst and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The inaugural installation will be on view through May 1, 2016.
From May 3 through June 10, the first-floor galleries will be closed for the installation of Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life. (see below) Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room on the first floor will remain open during the installation and run of Cindy Sherman.
Advance ticket reservations can be made online and have consistently been booked within hours of release. March and April tickets were fully reserved by late January, and when an additional 25,000 tickets for March and April were released earlier this month, they were reserved in eight hours.
While advance tickets are currently booked through May 2016, same-day tickets are always available at the museum every day except Mondays, when the museum is closed. Wait times in the onsite standby line range from 10 to 45 minutes on weekdays and 60 to 90 minutes on weekends. The standby line wait during holiday peak times has stretched beyond three hours.
The museum’s unique architectural features and striking collection have made The Broad a social media magnet. One in four visitors heard about the museum through someone else’s social media.
Celebrities also have frequented the museum and taken to sharing with their social media followers. Singer Adele recently was inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room and filmed a video in the installation for her performance at the BRIT Awards. She also shared her visit with her millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram, in addition to being interviewed by The Broad about her experience.
The Broad’s first special exhibition will feature artist Cindy Sherman and will run June 11 through Oct. 2, 2016. Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life will showcase nearly 120 of the artist’s works, drawn from the Broad collection as well as other institutional collections. The special exhibition will fill the first-floor galleries.
The third-floor galleries will remain free to all with general admission tickets, which admit visitors to 70% of the museum’s gallery space. The breadth of the Broad collection, featuring more than five decades of postwar and contemporary art, is on display on the third floor. Special exhibition tickets for Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life include same-day general admission for The Broad’s third-floor galleries.
Tickets to the Cindy Sherman special exhibition will be $12 for adults, free for children and teens 17 and under. Advance timed tickets may be purchased later this spring at thebroad.org. To be notified when tickets go on sale, sign up for The Broad’s email list at thebroad.org/signup.