Broad Museum Counts Over 820,000 Visitors in First Year

They are celebrating with a cocktail inspired by Jeff Koons.

Eli and Edythe Broad. Photo by Ben Gibbs for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

The Broad in downtown Los Angeles attracted more than 820,000 visitors in its first year of operation, according to the museum. That is nearly triple what museum executives and founders Eli and Edythe Broad had originally projected. It also stands out as one of the largest audiences for first year attendance at a new art institution in the US, the museum said.

The Broad, which opened on September 20, 2015, offers free general admission, and has become a popular destination for tourists. Its striking architecture, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has already become a fixture on Grand Avenue, directly adjacent to Frank Gehry’s famous Disney concert hall.

According to a statement from the museum, visitors over the past year “reflected unprecedented diversity for an art museum, attracting a dramatically younger, more ethnically diverse audience than the national average.” Sixty-two percent of its visitors identify their ethnicity as “other than Caucasian,” compared with a national art museum average of 23 percent. (National museum staff, however, is another matter.)

The Broad continues to attract lines around the block, executives said.

The Broad, Los Angeles. Photo: Iwan Baan, courtesy The Broad, Los Angeles.

The Broad, Los Angeles. Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy The Broad, Los Angeles.

“Edye and I could not be more delighted with the public reception to the museum,” said Broad in a statement. He and his wife gifted the $140 million museum and 2,000-work art collection to the public. “Our goal has always been to share our art with the broadest possible public, and our first year has exceeded all of our expectations,” he added.

In addition, the institution reports that it created 490 jobs and generated $8.2 million in local, state, and federal tax revenue last year.

Timothy Hollingsworth, the chef at next door restaurant Otium, created two special menu items to mark the museum’s first year: an Andy Warhol-inspired clam chowder and a cocktail inspired by Jeff Koons’ famous Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

The museum also uploaded a video to YouTube in which a lengthy list of artists and celebrities—including Cate Blanchett, Met director Thomas Campbell, Eric Fischl, Jeff Koons, Miranda July and Shirin Neshat—wish the institution a happy first birthday.

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