Broad Museum – Artsy Oasis Or Pricey, Social Media Trap?

Broad Museum

A front view of the Broad

I love art museums. I am an art lover. Can I draw, paint, or am I artistically gifted in any way? No, not at all. But when I was 13 years old, I went to Europe for a couple of months and I was fortunate enough to have visited some fabulous museums. Ever since then I’ve enjoyed spending my time in art museums. My favorite museum in LA, of all time is, The Getty. Words cannot express how much I enjoy that treasure filled castle on a hill. However, not all museums in LA are equally amazing, and that’s how I feel towards, The Broad. A sign of the Broad museum in red letters

I have been so curious about The Broad museum ever since its opening in 2015. When all those social media pics of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room popped up everywhere, ugh, I had to go! But here’s the kicker, it’s not as easy as you think to be able to visit the coolest exhibit at the Broad in LA.

Okay, so, the admission is free but it kinda isn’t. What? Exactly, that’s how I felt when we visited. If you want to get into the museum for free, you have to wait in line. The day we visited there was a long line, and it was a really warm, sunny day. They quoted us about an hour and a half to get into the building. There were no benches anywhere. If you’re going to force people to stand in line just so they can get into the museum, at least have areas available to sit. Btw, we went on a weekday, in the middle of the week, early in the morning, and the line was crazy long. I can’t imagine how crazy the line is on the weekend. And if we ever do go back, we’ll never go on the weekend. Don’t visit this museum on the weekend.

So, how did we avoid waiting in line? We bought tickets to the individual exhibit by Jasper Johns. Exactly. That’s how they get you! Oh, you don’t wanna wait almost two hours to get into the museum? Buy a ticket to our exhibit by Jasper Johns and you don’t have to wait in line out in the heat. So it wasn’t free for us.

By the time we got in the building the Infinity Room was already sold out!

Yeah, we were there in the morning, midweek, we paid, and we still couldn’t visit the Infinity Room. The only reason I really wanted to go was to visit the Infinity Room.

I would have waited in line, so we could get into the museum for free, but the employee made it sound that we had a quicker chance of getting the Infinity room tickets if we didn’t wait in line.

The whole experience was too complicated.

I thought parking was a little too pricey.

We ended up paying like $20, plus the ‘free’ admission, we spent like $50 or $60 that day. I didn’t think it was worth it at all. They only reason I don’t feel too bad about the money is because it’s all about art & museums. Anything I can do to support the arts I’m okay with, but I feel bad for people that are on a budget. I don’t feel this is a budget friendly museum, if, you don’t know what you’re doing, I guess.

The front view of the Broad

Also, I’m not crazy about the location. It’s in a crowded intersection, on the corner of W 2nd St & N Grand Ave. The iconic Walt Disney concert hall is next to it, the Museum of Contemporary Art is across the street, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is not too far away. I just don’t like driving in the heart of LA too much. I LOVE LA, but, I don’t like driving around in LA.

Disney music hall next to the Broad

Parking

Parking is available directly beneath The Broad in the museum’s parking garage. Enter on 2nd St. between Hope St. and Grand Ave. The garage opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 1 a.m.

Parking Garage Rates:

  • $15 for 3 hours on weekdays with validation from The Broad (after 3 hours, an additional $5 each 15 minutes, $25 maximum)
  • $15 after 5 p.m. on weeknights
  • $15 all day on weekends

A view from the inside of the Broad

Now, I’ve been told that I’ve done it all wrong, and everything should have been free. I was supposed to go online, reserve tickets…blah, blah, blah. Look, I go to museums a lot and I thought this was a confusing experience, that says a lot. It just wasn’t my favorite LA museum experience. I will try to go once more, for the Infinity Room, and then I’ll be happy if I never go back again.

Very bright exhibit at the Broad

The collection has been described by the Washington Post as including too much “high-end trash” but “even though the bad overwhelms the great, there are great work throughout.”

I completely agree with the quote above. I don’t feel like this place is an art museum, I truly feel that it is a social media destination. The younger crowd especially, treated this place like a building filled with photo props for Instagram. You could tell they weren’t there to appreciate the art, they were just there for Instagram. That bothered me a lot. It was a noisy, irritating experience. It felt like we were on a playground, not in a museum.

But there were a small amount of people, like myself and my husband, that were there to appreciate the art.

Artwork at the Broad

What I Love & Hate About The Broad Museum:

Contemporary art

Visually FUN

Modern

Not for the art snobs or stuffy crowd

Nice architecture

Worth a single visit

Social media crowd will love this museum.

Too crowded

Building felt too small for all the people that were there.

A confusing experience

Expensive parking

Located in a heavily congested area

Infinity Room sold out too fast.

You have to wait in a very long line to get in for ‘free’

The crowd acted like it was a social media theme park

90% of the art is underwhelming

Small museum

Not impressive at all.

Koons’ Tulips piece ↑

Art lovers in front of artwork

Takashi Murakami
↑ In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow ↑
Takashi Murakami’s eighty-two-foot-long painting, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, reflects on the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. The work portrays a cartoonish, spiritual landscape, awash in an enormous tsunami of churning water. It’s a specific reference to a Japanese history of natural disasters and an attempt to place suffering into a visual language.

A blue exhibit at the Broad

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (blue)

A silver & blue exhibit at the Broad

The two exhibits at the broad

A blue dog balloon exhibit at the Broad

Big table exhibit

A big table exhibit at the Broad

↑ Robert Therrien’s “Under the Table,” 1994 ↑

A separate exhibit at the broad

Michael Jackson and his chimp at the Broad

Jeff Koons, “Michael Jackson and Bubbles,” 1988, porcelain, 42 x701/2 x321/2in. © Jeff Koons.

More art pictures

The Broad features free admission, but advance reservations are highly recommended.  Tickets for the following month are typically released on the first of the month.  Prospective visitors can go to The Broad’s web site and reserve up to (4) slots for a specific time.  Alternatively, those aiming for a more spontaneous trip can engage the standby line, though anyone who arrives after opening is likely in for a significantly long wait, especially on the weekends (weekdays are probably much easier).

You are a very special person

THE BROAD MUSEUM 

  • The Broad
  • 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • http://www.thebroad.org/
  • FREE (online reservations required), special exhibits may charge
  • 11:00am – 5:00pm Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 11:00am – 8:00pm Thursdays & Fridays, 10:00am – 8:00pm Saturdays, 10:00am – 6:00pm Sundays, closed Mondays

Last pic of the Broad

 

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Maria in gold letters

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. September 3, 2018 / 6:01 pm

    I had a completely different experience. Went online and got a reservation – and waltzed right in. Parking is indeed confusing. I do feel the same about the collection but I did love the building. A few months later I bought a ticket to JJ because I really wanted to see it and, again, I waltzed right in. Maybe because I live in a canyon, by the ocean, I feel like going downtown is always slightly exotic. Last time I went on my own and then had lunch outside Disney Hall, on a random weekday, and it was great. I also went to see the Marciano collection and I was definitely underwhelmed. Have you been yet?

    • September 4, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit & that it was a hassle free experience for you. I have to admit we enjoyed some coffee & pastries in a cafe right next to the museum and it was amazing. There’s also a restaurant near there we want to go to as well. We do plan on going back, but I know this is not going to be a museum that I will frequent often like, The Getty or LACMA or The Norton Simon Museum. I love, love downtown LA…I just hate driving around in it, especially when looking for parking. I stand by what I wrote, respectfully, I believe this place is just a pricey social media trap. But, it is a beautiful building. Thank you so much for the feedback. Hope you have a beautiful day!

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