Renowned art collector Broad to speak March 8

Philanthropist Eli Broad, named one of the top art collectors in the world by ArtNews and Art and Antiques magazines, will speak on “Thirty Years of Collecting” at 5 p.m. March 8 at the Gallery of Art.

Eli Broad
Eli Broad

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is being held in conjunction with American Art of the 1980s: Selections From the Broad Collections, on view at the gallery through April 18. The exhibition features 14 large-scale paintings and sculptures by 11 celebrated and sometimes controversial artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, Jack Goldstein, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, David Salle, Julian Schnabel and Mark Tansey.

Since the early 1960s, Broad and his wife, Edythe, have built a personal collection of more than 400 modern and contemporary works, while The Broad Art Foundation, which they founded in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1984, has amassed more than 750 works by more than 100 artists. The foundation operates an active “lending library” of its collection and has loaned artwork to more than 400 museums and university galleries worldwide.

Through their dedication to venture philanthropy, the Broads engage wide-ranging areas of concern in the arts, education and science nationwide.

In 1999, The Broad Foundation was established with a mission to dramatically improve urban K-12 public education through better governance, management and labor relations. In its first five years, this foundation has committed more than $100 million to support new ideas and innovative leadership in the nation’s largest urban school systems.

The Broads have strongly supported numerous universities and colleges, particularly in regard to teaching and research in art, biotechnology and business. The Broad Art Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, designed by architect Richard Meier, is under construction and will house painting, sculpture and ceramics studios for art students, as well as a gallery, library and café.

In June 2003, in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Whitehead Institute, the Broads announced a founding gift of $100 million to create The Eli and Edythe Broad Institute for biomedical research and help realize the promise of the human genome.

The Broads have also provided funding for new buildings at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California Institute of Technology, Pitzer College and Michigan State University, from which Eli Broad graduated cum laude in 1954 and where The Eli Broad College of Business and The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management were endowed in 1991.

Eli Broad has been a patron and board member at more than 25 major museums and art institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all in New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the Archives of American Art of The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Eli Broad was founding chairman of the board of trustees of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and is a trustee and member of the executive committee of LACMA. Most recently, the Broads announced a major gift to LACMA to create a new building for contemporary art.

Regular Gallery of Art hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays; and noon-4:30 p.m. weekends. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

For more information, call 935-4523.