Taking Your Brood to The Broad
Kiddo made a list of different things she wanted to do that she never has before. Everything from hiking the Hollywood Sign and checking out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, to trying out some new restaurants and seeing Hamilton. Yes, the Broadway one. I know… don’t remind me. Always up for new things, I’m doing my best to check everything off of her list. We’ll hike the Hollywood Sign when the weather cools down in the fall, we went to WWofHP, tried a bunch of new restaurants, toured a new country, and heading to NYC in January for Hamilton. But something on my list was, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room at The Broad in Los Angeles.
Tip: When entering the address for The Broad into your GPS, make sure to indicate the correct Los Angeles zip code. Otherwise, you will end up in San Pedro down by the docks about 22 miles out of the way. And you know what 22 miles in L.A. traffic language means: 2 hours.
The building itself is a work of art. Every detail is impressive and worth being appreciated. And I could tell Kiddo agreed by her “Oooohs!” and “Ahhhhs!” and “Mama! Hurry up, look at this!” I have to admit, the blogger in me enjoyed playing “Ferris Bueller” with her and watching a few steps behind as she stared at priceless works of art by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Koons, trying to make sense of it all. For a few hours, the hustle and bustle of L.A. and everyday life didn’t exist for either one of us.
So are the long lines and rave reviews worth the hype? Absolutely. I encourage you to use this time to strike up a conversation with your kids. Ask them what they notice about the building and what they hope to see inside. Try to make a connection between something you’ve seen and something you know interests them.
Are the exhibits at The Broad child friendly?
While this may not be the best museum for younger children, it is a fantastic spot for tweens and teens to see priceless works of art that appeal to this age rage. The layout of the space is open in true museum fashion, which showcases the colors, shapes, textures and styles and helps art appreciation appeal to the younger audience.
Around every corner was a new world to exhibit. For the most part, the artwork on display is appropriate. However, there were three pieces in particular that snuck up on us that maybe I would’ve tried to avoid with young eyes. One dealt opening with the realities of war, another one (that truthfully I didn’t even notice,) I read depicted sexual content, and the last was called, Possessed. Otherwise, the artwork fluidly flowed from room-to-room sparking the interest of both of us.
Tip: Bring your own earbuds and make sure to download The Broad mobile app before you arrive. It will give you a self-guided tour of the museum!
Last summer Kiddo participated in a weekly Andy Warhol art class at a local museum. Week-to-week they studied his silk-printing and self-portraits and then make their own based on what they learned. What better time than to introduce her to Warhol up-close and personal? The Broad has a room dedicated to the artist, and personally I could have stood there and stared at his work for all day. I wrote my first term paper on him in 7th grade and years later I’m still wow’d when looking at the same paintings I’ve seen countless times before.
The Big Blue Balloon Dog
Without a doubt this was Kiddo’s absolute favorite. You could tell immediate from her smile, and I think this is the piece of artwork that finally made her understood that art went far beyond painting on a canvas, or something you could frame. Balloon Dog (Blue) is a part of Jeff Koons’s Celebration collection. The piece is so grand in size because the artist never wanted us to forget how important every day is. It makes sense why Pharrell William’s calls Koons his “hero” and the most successful American artist working today.
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room
When we first arrived to The Broad, we noticed the line of people waiting in line for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room was deep. It started on the corner of S Grand, continued down 2nd, and wrapped around the corner onto S Hope St. It’s important to know you only get 45-seconds in the room, so if you are planning on taking photos, think about them beforehand, snap the shot and then give yourself a moment to take in an appreciate the installation.
Tip: Get in line early and reserve a time for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room. It will then free you up to see the rest of the museum. When it’s your turn, they will send a you a text message!
Now, here’s what you need to know. My daughter loves dark stuff. She’s never been scared of things like this, but this installation spooked her out. Big time. When we stepped into the room, she was petrified and I couldn’t understand for the life of me why. She was petrified! We were in a room the size of a small bedroom, and it had rainbow twinkling lights. Beautiful, right? WRONG!
To her, this was Space as in the Universe. In her mind, she couldn’t separate what was real from the illusion. And while you can see the walkway, black water surrounds you and she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) believe that there was only an inch or so of water around us. I wish I had some artsy photos, but she held on to me for dear life, and wouldn’t step far back enough for me to focus my camera.
Oh, and just when I calmed her down, it flashes with lightning! Gulp.
KILL THE FLASH
Unlike some museums, The Broad welcomes you to snap away and share your experience across social media, but don’t make the rookie mistake of using your flash. This is a no-no for the sake of the artwork.
LEAVE THE BACKPACK FOR HIKING
The Broad doesn’t have a no backpack policy; however they will ask you to wear it in the front like a papoose and that can become uncomfortable. Why? Good question. See, adults have a tendency to walk backwards and look up when they are trying to catch a better view of paintings. That’s the smart way to see the big picture, until you walk backwards straight into a Lichtenstein with your backpack. No bueno.
DON’T GO HUNGRY
There might be a stack of larger than life dinner plates in the lobby, but the fact is there is a strict no food or drink policy inside the gallery.
LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE
Set up a meeting place as soon as you get there. There is so much to see at the museums that within seconds you could look up and be separated from your pack.
NO TOUCHY TOUCH
Bribe if you have to because many of the pieces and paintings are not roped off. This means your kids are on the honor system. If something is on a white platform, you keep your arms, legs, nose and eyebrows outside of the platform. Respect the boundaries.
The doors may have already been open for over two years, but I’ll be honest, I hadn’t pulled the trigger on visiting The Broad contemporary art museum with my daughter because was slightly skeptical. I knew I would love it, but this year she has officially entered the tween years, and I’ve begun to realize her interests are expanding and changing in ways faster than I can keep up. One minute they seem mature and sophisticated, and the next light and carefree. If I had to explain it, I’d say it is like being on an upside down roller coaster and holding on for dear life without a safety harness. But enough of my Parenting 101 therapy session, let’s talk about The Broad.
Have you visited The Broad?
We would love to know more about your experience. By sharing your tips, suggestions, and memories, in our comment section below, you help fellow travelers in The JetSet Family community decide the best fit for them and their families. Let us know what you liked most, or if you have any questions about The Broad in DTLA.