Eli Broad, billionaire philanthropist who enriched the cultural life of Los Angeles – Obituary
LACMA hoped Broad would leave his collection with him, but although he gave him $ 60 million for his rebuild in 2008, he must have been disappointed. For Broad saw himself as a late-day Baron Haussmann, the shaper of modern Paris, or Andrew Haswell Green, who planned the development of New York, breathing new life into dying downtown Los Angeles.
His efforts were central to the much delayed 2003 completion of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Then in 2015, across the street, he opened his own museum, The Broad, to display 2,000 objects from his art collection. Critics were divided as to the quality of this one and the building, although in its early years it attracted some 2.5 million visitors.
In total, Broad has invested over a billion dollars in arts institutions in Los Angeles, although there has been an additional cost in personal relationships. Broad’s 2012 memoir was titled The Art of Being Unreasonable, and its dominant trends led to abrupt arrivals and departures of museum directors and fierce feuds with prominent architects.
The most famous of these was with Frank Gehry, who Broad commissioned to design a house, only for the two to fall on his cost halfway through the project. Broad paid another company to complete the construction. The couple also clashed with egos above the Disney Concert Hall, ultimately burying their differences in order to see it come true.