LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After more than a year of being closed, the Broad Museum is about to open its doors. When the museum closed for the pandemic 14 months ago, its director thought it was closing for 14 days.
Its reopening later this month follows the untimely passing of founder and philanthropist Eli Broad.
Broad founding director Joanne Heyler points out Mark Bradford's monumental painting, "Deep Blue," the last artwork Broad acquired after visiting the L.A. artist's studio.
There was no question the museum would reopen May 26 as planned.
"I feel very strongly that he would want us to open as planned, to throw open the doors of this museum, fulfill our mission, in the way we were designed to do," Heyler said. "It is by bringing people into the building to experience the art in person and be part of the healing."
Ten years ago, when Broad unveiled the museum design, he cemented his legacy and his vision for it.
"Los Angeles clearly is a fitting home for our art collections. I'm convinced Los Angeles has become the contemporary art capital of the world," Broad said in 2011.
Broad declared that admission to the permanent collection would always be free and the museum reopening May 26 is entirely from the permanent collection. That includes all 13 of its works by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and 22 works by Roy Lichtenstein - half of them on view for the first time.
A special exhibit on the first floor titled "Invisible Sun" was curated to reflect the past year with themes, including revolution and recovery. The exhibition is titled after Julie Mehretu's "Invisible Sun (algorithm 8)," Broad associate curator Sarah Loyer said.
The art on display was not created for the exhibit, but it fits the theme for the past year, pairing artists and their messages.
"We paired a Los Angeles-based artist with Ray Smith, on the other hand, who is an artist born on the border of Texas and Mexico," Loyer said.
Smith's work is titled "Guernimex," in the fashion of Picasso's "Guernica," which was painted in 1937 as a statement against the Spanish Civil War.
This Broad exhibit is big, reminding a visitor that the virtual shows of the past year are not the real thing.
"There's no replacement for seeing art in person, and that connection to something larger than yourself is such an important part for all of us," Heyler said.
There are two preview weekends for health care workers and community groups before it opens to the general public at reduced capacity on May 26.
Free timed tickets go online starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. Strict COVID protocols, including mandatory mask wearing, will be observed.
Ticket information can be viewed here.