Results tagged “Eli Broad” from ARTicles

I've been trying my best to resist, but the subject of Eli Broad is just too tempting. Earlier this week, the L.A. art collector and billionaire won final government approval to build a headquarters for his foundation and contemporary art collection across the street from Disney Hall and down the block from the Museum of Contemporary Art. He promptly announced that he had chosen the New York firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro as architect of the planned 120,000-square-foot building.

There were no surprises in the announcement. It had basically been a done deal for weeks. So here are a few final thoughts on it:

1. The Broad Foundation collection is already based in a very nice building in Santa Monica. Although it is not open to the public, anyone with an interest in art who wants to view the collection can make an appointment to go see the work of blue-chip artists like Koons and Warhol in very nice and big galleries.

2. Open year-round to the public is the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the mid-Wilshire area of the city, which opened in February 2008. There you can also see lots of work from Broad's collection, including sculptures by Richard Serra and more paintings by the likes of Koons and Warhol.

3. Although Broad said he had been considering Santa Monica and Beverly Hills as possible sites for the new location of the foundation, he was obviously using them as bargaining chips with the city of L.A. and just wasting the time of the officials from those other cities. For years, Broad has been championing the redevelopment of downtown L.A. Putting his building downtown would help that process along and get him premium attention, too. Officials from those other cities should have realized that Broad made much of his fortune in insurance, and that's all they ever were.

August 27, 2010 12:00 AM |

The Los Angeles Times ran two prominent stories last week, including one on the front page of the April 30 edition, about billionaire Eli Broad's plans to build a museum for his contemporary art collection either in the city of Santa Monica or in downtown L.A. Broad, who is often described as a tough negotiator, appears to be pitting the two cities against each other, hoping to get the best deal before he commits to a site.

There aren't many people in Los Angeles with as much money as Broad, so when he agrees to donate money for a new building or a cause, institutions are quick to cave to his terms. In this case, one or two officials in each city are balking at Broad's demands for virtually rent-free land, questioning whether it's in the public interest to lease Broad valuable plots of real estate for a total of $1 a year, so he can build a place to show off his art. They would most likely get an arresting architectural edifice, with his name prominently displayed on it. Broad, who made his first fortune building homes for average folk before making his second fortune selling insurance policies, expressed dismay at the chutzpah of these ungrateful officials.

Broad told the Times, "It just burns me that people are saying they're giving me, a billionaire, $1 a year for nothing without looking at the public benefit that's being created, without thinking of all these children that are going to go there free of charge and all the other benefits."

May 7, 2010 12:00 AM |


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