There’s no question here, The Broad is currently LA’s trendiest modern art museum. It’s received countless mentions for its innovative, highly unusual exhibits, and of course the up-close-and-personal nature of the museum. I swear they’re just teasing you. Trust me, everything looks like something you want to touch. Don’t.
I made my reservation about a month in advance for a Sunday morning (you can go sooner if you choose a weekday). Upon our 11am arrival we went straight to the line to put our names on the waiting list for the Infinity Room. Yes, you read that right – after waiting in line for our reservation, we waited in a line just to get in a line. By the time we got up to the front, our estimated wait time was 4 hours and 18 minutes, and this was about an hour after the museum opened. The Broad is small, so the idea of spending 4+ hours in there waiting for our turn seemed excessive. But we put our name in anyways.
*Tip: Upon arrival, you can put down your name for the Infinity Room and then leave while you wait for your turn. Just show the greeter your queue position when you want to return, and you can pop back in.
We entered the smooth, rounded hallways that are reminiscent of the inside of a beehive. We wandered around and marveled at some of the stranger works. Of course there is the notorious giant balloon animal and massive dining set you can walk under, but there are a few very odd pieces. And lots of penis.
But don’t get me wrong, the majority of the exhibits don’t look like drunk scribblings. There are absolutely some eye-catching works in this place:
We covered the entire museum in about an hour. Thankfully the entrance employees said we could leave and come back when it was time for our Infinity Room reservation, so we ran off to grab a few drinks. We chose one of our favorite breweries, Arts District Brewing Co, about a mile from The Broad. You can read my review here.
Our spot in the queue was approaching, so we headed back to the Broad. We explored the gift shop since we still had a little time before we could see the Infinity Room, and thumbed through some of their books. They were just as inappropriate and strange as the exhibits in this place.
Finally our spot came up. It was time! We joined yet another line just outside that elusive black hallway. I could feel the excitement grow as we approached the front. But, as it generally goes at art exhibits, everyone kept to themselves and spoke in hushed voices. When we finally went in the room, it was not at all what I expected. The first thing I noticed (besides the lights of course) was that it was silent in there. Totally silent. The soundproofed walls didn’t let any outside noise in. You truly feel immersed in the room. I instantly understood Yayoi Kusama’s analogy of this room being the lights of a million souls. For my LA natives out there, I can best compare it to your first trip out of the city and you see the Milky Way in its entirety for the first time. Or your first time out on a boat at night, looking back at all the lights on the shoreline. It’s an oddly comforting feeling. A reminder of just how small you really are.
Our thirty seconds was up, and the doorman ever-so-gently eased the door open. His demeanor is definitely part of the experience. I walked out slightly dazed and feeling very relaxed. I immediately started pondering how I could make one of these at home. I guarantee if you spend a few minutes in one of these every day, you’ll be a changed person. So peaceful.
The Broad itself gets a 3/5. The architecture of the building is pretty much the most exciting part. Most of the art feels like it’s just there for the shock factor (and the instagrammers). The Infinity Room experience was a 4/5 because, although it was an incredible and very pleasant, serene experience…THAT WAIT. Then the tiny amount of time they give you to see it.
Just like any other museum, this will work if you fly solo, grab a date, or go with a group. You get it.