Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing

3.3
#4 of 9 in Things to do in East Lansing
Art Museum Museum
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, is a contemporary art museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. It opened on November 10, 2012.HistoryOn June 1, 2007, Michigan State received a $28 million donation from businessman Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, for the construction of a new art museum, to replace the old Kresge Art Museum in the school's art building. At their June 15 meeting, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the construction of the museum with initial plans to demolish the building then in the proposed location, the Paolucci Building. Michael Rush was named as the founding director in December 2010. Michael Rush passed away from pancreatic cancer on March 27, 2015. Marc-Olivier Wahler was named the director on March 9, 2016.Design competitionFollowing the approval of the museum there were initially 10 semifinalist firms identified from a field of approximately 30 firms. From the list of semifinalists, five architectural firms were selected to submit competition proposals. The proposed building was to include a minimum of 26000sqft of gallery space and would accommodate both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The new facilities would allow MSU’s art museum to offer educational opportunities and programming such as lectures by visiting scholars, curators, artists and faculty; seminars, docent training; and special activities for families and school groups. The five finalists were:Zaha Hadid – LondonCoop Himmelb(l)au – Vienna/Los AngelesMorphosis – Santa MonicaKohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC – New YorkRandall Stout Architects, Inc. – Los Angeles The selection committee announced on January 15, 2008, that Zaha Hadid had been selected.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
130 reviews
Google
3.9
TripAdvisor
  • We came to the art museum on a hot day and enjoyed the variety of modern art! Some of the pieces were really unusual, but that was the point of the current collection- keep an eye out for the elephant...  more »
  • The story behind the museum is remarkable and the personal collection of Mr and Mrs Broad is most interesting. Well worth a visit. Parking close to campus is very difficult.  more »
  • Interesting but very odd art. Crickets in a tent. What appears to be a bar of soap but is in fact fat sucked out of a Italian Prime Minister. Talking water spigits. Did love the hanging elephant.  more »
Google
  • The building itself is something of an attraction but unfortunately the actual exhibits inside really aren't that interesting. The docents and visitor services folks were kind and attentive, though, and I'd recommend visiting their little gift shop. The events are also fairly regular and interesting.
  • Had a good time. Even though I didn't understand everything it was a good time and the volenteers were very informative.
  • If I could give the Broad less than one star, I would. To start with, the building is an eyesore. The location they put it in is old campus, which is full of brick and ivy buildings. As a building constructed almost entirely of metal, it sticks out like a sore thumb, which doesn't assist in the already unfriendliness of the building. All of the angles and metal make it very cold and uninviting. It does not entice you to enter. Added to that, the moment it opened, it was already a dated piece of architecture. It's like looking back at the 'World of Tomorrow' and seeing all of the things that were wrong about where we are now. The Broad already looks like something out of the past and it just opened five years ago. If you get a good look at the outside, you know exactly what you're getting from the interior, lots of cold, uninviting angles. What I wasn't expecting was the large amount of wasted space due to the architectural design. From the outside, it appears as though the space will be able to display quite a bit, but the museum feels very small. The Flint Institute of Arts did a much better job of expanding the display place during their remodel several years ago than the Broad did on a new construction, which, when you're creating a place to display art the amount of space you actually have that can realistically display art seems pretty important to me. Sacrificing display space for architectural design is a decision seems like a poor tradeoff. The architecture should have lended itself to enhancing the displays, not detracting from them. Also, all of the employees were scowling the entire time I was there. No one was friendly. No one even smiled. They had six people who looked like security guards in the foyer/entrance and every single one of them looked at you like they wanted you to leave, and this is before you even enter the museum proper! I've never been to a museum that was less friendly and uninviting. You might be thinking, maybe it was an off-day, but every time I have been there has been the same. Now, I do expect security guards to be serious, but it seemed overstaffed for the small space and the people who were regular employees had the same uninviting expressions. I'd rather go through airport security, where you at least get the occasional smile or person trying to joke with you. On a positive note, they do have a little coffee bar and I like coffee, so that was nice, but it might be faster to go across the street to Starbucks and back in the amount of time it takes them to make one latte when you're the only one in the line. I've given the Broad it's fair share of chances over the past five years and the exhibits are always subpar. Combine that with the unfriendly employees and the empty wasted space, it definitely isn't something that slow coffee alone is going to lure me back for. I've long since written this building off as somewhere to go for art. I would rather take the drive to see the Flint Institute of Arts or the Grand Rapids Art Museum, both of which contain much better rotating collections on a regular basis and make fantastic use of their allotted space, as well as having employees who are actually friendly and helpful.
  • Sweet architecture, great mixture of artists and INCREDIBLY KNOWLEDGEABLE and friendly staff! Free admission! Must-see!!!
  • This is a great new addition to the campus of Michigan State University. I love to talk a walk over to the Broad Art Museum on my lunch breaks and check out what new exhibits they have on display. If it wasn't for the Broad Art Museum I would not be so interested in art! I love seeing what artists are doing from all over the world. Make sure to stop in and enjoy walking around the sleek contemporary building.

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