A couple of months ago, Ryan and I took a day trip to LA to wander around and wandered straight into the Museum of Contemporary Art. Later that day, on our walk from the MOCA to its sister museum, The Geffen, it was hard not to notice the incredible lines at the museum across the street.
Hundreds of people were snaked around the corner of one of LA's newest museums, The Broad, which opened only a year ago in September of 2015. And still, a year later, people regularly wait in the 90+ minute line to enjoy The Broad's colorful collection.
I wanted to be one of those people.
Except not really, because standing in line looked like a terrible way to waste at least an hour of my life. I knew there had to be a better way and I knew I wanted to find that way before the summer was over.
A quick Google search taught me that I could get tickets with an assigned entry time and avoid the line altogether. Perfect! It also taught me that tickets to The Broad are free. Even better!
The catch? Those free tickets "sell out" a month in advance. Tickets are released at noon on the 1st of the month before the month you're looking to go. What's crazier is that they're usually gone by the end of the day, if not within the first couple of hours. #coachellastatus
Of course, if you don't get a ticket, you can still attempt to visit... you just may wait in the standby line in the unrelenting sun for two hours. The Broad's twitter feed will give you a better idea of what you're getting yourself into on any given day.
On July 1st I signed on, got my tickets for one Sunday the following month, and planned another LA weekend around it.
That weekend a few friends and I headed up the night before, got drinks with Quentin Tarantino (true story), and somehow managed to not be too hungover to make our 10am entry time.
How I felt upon arriving at The Broad
To see it, you have to get on the separate signup list for the exhibit, something you can only do once you're physically in the museum. That list fills up within the first two hours of being open, so to make sure that you get to see the exhibit, it's important to get there as early as possible. Right after we got inside we immediately got in line to sign up and give them our cell phone numbers so that they could text us when it was our turn to check it out.
In the meantime, we explored the rest of the first floor, which primarily consists of the gift shop and a rotating special exhibition. The museum actually does charge for the special exhibition. While we were there it was the Cindy Sherman exhibit and it cost $12, which I decided to splurge on. The exhibit was full of the photographer's self potraits, ranging from the bizarre to the creepy to the satirical.
After that it was time to head up to the third floor to see the rest of The Broad's collection. The Broad's second floor is off limits, since it consists of their administrative offices and storage for the pieces in the collection that aren't on display.
To get to the third floor you can take the stairs, which allows you a peak inside the storage area, a huge escalator, or this capsule-like elevator which could almost function as art itself.
Another popular exhibit at The Broad is Under The Table by Robert Therrien, which consists of a giant set of table and chairs. Hilariously, I decided to pretend to climb onto it and was promptly yelled at by a docent.
Lesson: don't climb the modern art, kids.
The rest of the collection was colorful and bold and... fun. As I walked through rooms full of Koonses and Lichtensteins and a bright collection of Warhols, I couldn't help but notice that I spent more time simply enjoying the works at The Broad instead of contemplating them, as I had done at MOCA. The Broad is a perfect place to just relax and take in some easily digestible modern art.
The rest of the museum's 2,000+ piece collection is stored onsite
Between the flashing lights and the mirrors and the water surrounding the platform, it was a little dizzying, but nevertheless... just as awesome as I expected. I highly recommend getting in to see it before the exhibit ends this autumn!
A couple of hours and a healthy dose of culture later, we made a quick stop at the gift shop and then walked over to Little Tokyo for lunch to cap off a perfect museum morning.
Bright, fun and best of all... free, The Broad has definitely earned its place on my LA favorites list.