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Eli Broad to build new Contemporary Arts Museum bearing his name in Beverly Hills

eli-broad1In an apparent reversal from his statements earlier this year, billionaire philanthropist and patron of the arts Eli Broad is now opening a 25,000 square foot museum in the new headquarters for his eponymous foundation, the Broad Art Foundation.  This news comes just nine months after the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened the 60,000 square foot Broad Contemporary Art Museum, built through $56 million dollars provided by Mr. Broad, proprietor of a 2,000 piece collection of post-war art.  Jean Michel Basquiat, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Damien Hirst figure among the many seminal artists whose works are owned by the foundation.  Eli Broad had been outspokenly calling the art market bubble for some time now and recent auction performance in the past month or two has proved him to be somewhat prescient.   Broad has felt that the market is returning to normal levels perhaps as he has recently been reinvigorating purchasing activity.  Mr. Broad’s most recent acquisitions include: Bantam by Robert Rauschenberg ($2.6 million), Wishing Well by Jeff Koons ($2.2 million), and Desire by Ed Ruscha ($2.4 million), all acquired at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale on November 11th.

The new facility would include the proposed museum, administrative headquarters for his organization, and storage for the pieces of his collection that aren’t on loan to museums. ”We want a new headquarters, a space to have works that are not on loan to others at any given moment available for study by curators and scholars,” the foundation’s spokeswoman said in an article published in Bloomberg.  Broad has expressed that he would like the new headquarters to open within 3 years.

Gensler has been designated as the architect and consultant on the project, with a site in Beverly Hills and two other undisclosed locations under review. The Beverly Hills location would be at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, a few miles away from the LACMA museum that bears his name. Some observers question whether the new museum would introduce too much competition to existing contemporary arts venues, especially the Broad Museum at LACMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), where Broad was a founding trustee. MoCA especially is in a very fragile position: the museum is in a severe fiscal crisis after suffering huge losses to its endowment in the recent market downturn.  Broad has announced a plan to provide $30 million to MoCA over several years to help keep the museum from closing.

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November 28, 2008 - Posted by | Architecture, Art Exhibitions, Artists, News, photography, raw art gallery, Tel Aviv - Israel, Uncategorized | ,

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