Arts + Culture

Eli And Edythe Broad Donate $20 Million To UCLA For New Art Complex On Campus


Eli and Edythe Broad have donated $20 million toward the construction of a new art center at UCLA, Chancellor Albert Carnesale announced today. The facility, home to the visual arts programs of the School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLArts), will be named the Edythe and Eli Broad Art Center.

The gift will create a new complex on the present site of the Dickson Art Center to house the Department of Art, the Department of Design|Media Arts and the New Wight Gallery. The project is scheduled to begin construction in January 2002 and will be completed in approximately two years.

"Eli and Edye Broad's magnificent gift will secure UCLA's place at the forefront of the arts," Carnesale said. "As a dynamic training ground for the cultural leaders of the 21st century, the Broad Art Center will markedly enrich the creative life of UCLA, the greater Los Angeles region and beyond."

The Broad Art Center project will completely reconstruct and expand the existing visual arts facilities at UCLA to support the contemporary teaching needs of the faculty. The combination of a significantly changed floor plan and the addition of new space will provide upgraded facilities for interactive multimedia technology, expanded studio space, updated classrooms, galleries for student exhibitions and public presentations, as well as offices and common space.

The project includes revitalizing the adjacent plaza areas surrounding the center. Plans for the redesigned grounds include the commissioning of a major new sculpture, which will be situated in the center's courtyard.

"Edye and I are delighted our gift to UCLA will play a vital role in enhancing UCLA's visual arts program. It is our sincere hope that Richard Meier's architecture and the new gallery spaces will serve as an inspiration to the students who study here, and that the art-loving public will benefit from this additional venue in Los Angeles," said Broad, chairman and chief executive officer of SunAmerica Inc.

Broad has long been involved with the visual arts and higher education. His commitment to UCLA dates from 1971, when he joined the Chancellor's Associates. He has served on the Visiting Committee of the former Graduate School of Management and as a member of the board of directors of the UCLA Hammer Museum. He was a founding chairman of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture's Board of Visitors and is a member of its executive committee.

A noted art collector, Broad serves as a trustee and member of the executive committee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a member of the Contemporary Art Committee of the Harvard University Museums, and an honorary governor of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles. He was founding chairman of the board of trustees of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

In 1984, he established The Broad Art Foundation to serve as an educational and lending resource for contemporary art. Its growing collection currently contains 650 art works, which have been lent to more than 325 museums and university galleries around the world.

In 1999, he founded The Broad Foundation, which has taken as its mission the improvement of governance, management and labor relations in K-12 urban education. Broad also spearheaded the fund-raising campaign for the Walt Disney Concert Hall and led the effort to bring the 2000 Democratic National Convention to Los Angeles.

"Eli and Edye Broad's generosity will enable UCLArts to pursue its goal of being one of the finest arts schools in the world," said Daniel Neuman, dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture. "Mr. Broad's commitment to the arts and higher education at UCLA combine to underscore the central place the arts occupy in our culture, and the important role the arts command in shaping our lives."

The design of the Broad Art Center is being undertaken by the firm of Richard Meier & Partners, Architects, under the direction of Richard Meier and Michael Palladino. Meier is internationally known for designing light-filled, finely crafted buildings that forge sympathetic relationships to their respective contexts and the natural environment. He has won numerous design competitions and awards, and in 1984 he became the youngest recipient to date of the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture, the field's highest honor.

Among the firm's best-known projects are The Getty Center, the Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles and the High Museum in Atlanta. Their current projects include the Church of the Year 2000 in Rome, commissioned by the Vatican.

"Richard Meier and his team have produced a plan that will not only create a dynamic new face for the arts at UCLA, but will also enliven the entire campus," Neuman said. "The new complex creates an environment better adapted to the working methods of contemporary artists by accommodating both new technology and spaces for interdisciplinary experimentation."

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