Interview: U.S. Broad Museum to share contemporary art with the world

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-14 13:42:14|Editor: ying
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LOS ANGELES, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The blazing sun beats on the coastal city of Los Angeles, one of the centers of contemporary art in the world, from early morning. The Broad Museum, located in the city center, is welcoming the peak season for tourism as summer vocation has begun.

The 1,1000-square-meter honeycomb-structured museum, built with 140 million U.S. dollars donated by philanthropist and art collector couple Eli Broad and Edythe Broad, has become one of the art landmarks of the "City of Angels."

"We want to share our contemporary art collection with the widest possible audience," Mr. Broad told Xinhua Tuesday, who has donated 2,000 works of art of their private collection to the museum together with his wife, including the famous Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe, and Jeff Koons's Balloon Dog. The museum also boasts the largest collection of works of Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons worldwide.

"Good art evokes emotion," Mr. Broad said, "it (contemporary art) is the art of our time. It gives me and others an education of how others see the world. Spending time with the artists I've learned to have a different view of the world."

Mr. Broad, who has built two Fortune 500 companies and was ranked the 65th wealthiest person by Forbes in 2015, is one of the most powerful collectors in the United States or even in the world.

In order to enable as many people as possible to have access to the museum without being restricted by money, the museum has been free to the public since opening in September 2015.

Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti acclaimed the Broad Museum for consolidating Los Angeles's position as one of the contemporary art centers in the world by attracting affluent tourists worldwide.

The museum, which boasts one of the most important collections of postwar and contemporary art in the world, has received more than 1.2 million visitors during the past two years or less. In its inaugural year, it attracted more than 820,000 visitors, 13 percent of whom were international visitors.It has created a miracle by being listed among top 80 of the most popular art museums in the world and top 15 in the United States within one year after inauguration.

Only 38 percent of its visitors are white people, much lower than that of other museums in the United States. Besides, the average age of its visitors is 33 years old, about 12 years younger than that of other museums.

"The fact that they (the visitors) are keeping coming back is very encouraging," Mr. Broad said. He told Xinhua that since the museum can only showcase 250 to 300 art pieces once, it rotates exhibitions from time to time, which attracts many visitors to come again. "It is an experience that you have to look at once or twice, people come back and reflect on what they have seen."

Mr. Broad, aged 84, has visited China for three times, and has been to a multitude of museums and galleries in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

"I was very impressed by works of some Chinese contemporary artists," Mr. Broad told Xinhua, adding that although his museum does not have any Chinese contemporary artworks now, yet "they will come."

The Broad Museum not only invites people across the world to come and enjoy contemporary art in Los Angeles, it also lends its artworks to museums in other countries. Till now, the museum has made more than 8,500 loans of its exhibits to over 500 museums and galleries worldwide.

"Art is international. It doesn't have any boundaries," Mr. Broad said, "we still lend. We don't want to just have the art in storage. We want to share with the broadest possible public, whether they are here in the United States or elsewhere."