A few weeks ago I was online looking for fun things to do with the kids and came across The Broad Museum. I have wanted to visit The Broad since it opened, but due to pregnancy and later, due to a newborn and a crazy two year old, I put it off until I simply forgot that it existed.
I like to think that we are in a stage where the boys can take museums in small, fun doses. I tried this concept out a few months ago, when I took them to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The boys did great! We did a lot of exploring. We looked at a few paintings, several sculptures, and we moved from building to building often, for a change of scenery and to build anticipation for something new.
I noticed that they were particularly interested in sculptures, especially in the outdoor sculpture garden. Armed with this knowledges, before reserving our tickets for The Broad, I called Princeton over to show him what was on exhibit. On their website, we looked through all of the various paintings, the Basquiats, the Warhols, the Lichtensteins, and everything in between. But what caught my little one's eye was a Jeff Koons piece called Rabbit.
I reserved our tickets, and we made it to the museum.
Parking was easy. The lot is located inside the museum building, unlike most Downtown LA establishments, so there was no long walk necessary. Just a quick ride in the elevator.
When we arrived, there were two lines. One for the 11:00 am group, and one for the 11:30 am group. TIP: We arrived about five minutes past 11:00 am, the entry time listed on our tickets, and everyone in line was already let in. We were able just walks right in without having to wait in any lines. Early arrival is not only unnecessary, but would make for a lot more waiting around.
As soon as we walked in, the boys were immediately drawn to an untitled piece by Robert Therrien. We called it Giant Plates and discussed what we could possibly eat off of said plates, how we could sleep in them and so on. What I loved about this was how immediate the trigger to their imagination was set off.
We explored the first floor and the galleries there. We had several photo ops, but Princeton seemed anxious. He did not take as long viewing or ask as many questions about all of the incredible pieces as he had done at LACMA. Yet, these pieces were much more his speed.
When I asked him what was on his mind, he said "I'm having a hard time mommy, because I want to find the giant bunny." How could I deny him?
We made one stop before heading upstairs to find the bunny. We stopped to reserve our minute in Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room. TIP: Make the reservation counter your first stop at the museum. There is a minimum wait of an hour at all times. Very often, even longer.
After making our reservation, we went upstairs to find the bunny aka The Jeff Koons Rabbit.
The disappointment in Princeton's eyes as he ran up to the "giant bunny" was oddly funny. "The bunny is NOT giant, mama!" he exclaimed. We stood there for quite some time as he tried to make sense of it all.
The thing that broke the trance that we were in while staring at the disappointing Rabbit was another Koons piece, a very famous piece called Michael Jackson and Bubbles.
The boys laughed so hard when they saw it, that they literally started hugging and giving each other kisses. Honestly, I can't tell you why it had such an effect on the kids, but I'll take it! Any time something makes my boys kiss and hug instead of scream and fight, I'm happy. Bring on more Michael Jackson and Bubbles!
We saw so many beautiful, fun, haunting and incredible works of art at The Broad. A lot of which we enjoyed, and a few that the kids simply did not understand or care for. Specifically, Rapture, a video/audio installation by artist Shirin Neshat. While beautifully haunting, it is very heavy with politics and religion. Definitely not for small children. Princeton thought it was too loud and scary and Skyler just yelled "mama" the entire time. TIP: If going with small children, avoid the video/audio installations. They are all slightly eerie, loud and scary for the little ones.
After we saw all of the art on both floors, we decided to walk outside for a little snack break before we were called back for our Mirrored Room experience. The outside area is very nice, but there was not much shade as the day got hotter.
We eventually went back inside to take our minute inside the famed Mirrored Room. The looks on my boy's faces alone were worth the entire trip. They were in complete awe. Skyler was so upset that he had to leave the room, I actually entertained the idea of reserving another viewing. Short-lived idea, but non-the-less, we will be going back to see this installation again.
Overall, we had a good time. Most of the art currently on view is very kid friendly. It's bright, colorful and fun, which is a great way to get the little ones interested in art.