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A review of Downtown LA’s The Broad museum

Introducing: The Loyalist’s new student-based arts review of cultural events and venues around the city.

First stop: The Broad

The Broad Museum, located at 221 S. Grand Avenue in downtown, opened its doors in September of this year, drawing thousands of visitors for its mix of postwar, modern and contemporary art and ample selfie opportunities, as we found out.

The museum is a suitable distraction from the business of the school week, especially on Thursdays and Fridays, when it remains open until 8 p.m. A visit after school on any other day would be possible as well, with the public collection comfortably viewed in about an hour and a half. The majority of the artwork is almost absurdly abstract, and students unfamiliar with postwar art movements could easily have a difficult time understanding each piece’s meaning.

Despite the museum’s imposing size from the street, the first and third floor gallery spaces of the perforated concrete shell feel cramped relative to the space of the works, with multiple, often overwhelming, pieces in each gallery and occasional crowds for accompaniment.

The behavior of the crowds who attend the museum is astonishing. The Broad is flooded with people who aren’t there to appreciate artwork, but, instead, to take the perfect photograph for their Instagram or Snapchat accounts.

Unless paying $12—with validation—for parking sounds appealing, the most convenient and cost-effective method of accessing the museum from Loyola would be an Uber ride. But visiting the Broad is not entirely an afterschool bust. Reasonably-priced eateries within a ten minute walk can be found at Grand Central Market, and many opportunities for digital photography exist within the cityscape of downtown.

Although the exterior of the museum is visually stimulating, the space inside should be met with lower expectations compared to the building’s façade, embodying the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

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