The MSU Broad connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquiry. With a focus on the art of our time—in dialogue with the historical—the museum encourages engagement with timely issues of local relevance and global significance. Through a program that features local, national, and international artists, a permanent collection of over 10,000 works, and dynamic public programming, the MSU Broad advances the values of quality, inclusion, and connectivity that are paramount to Michigan State University.
The MSU Broad is committed to amplifying perspectives and stories by underrepresented and oppressed communities through the arts, and creating an inclusive environment for meaningful dialogue about equity and social justice. The MSU Broad employs actively anti-racist approaches to exhibitions and programming by making evident systems of privilege, power, and oppression that are pervasive and self-perpetuating with the objective of working towards restorative solutions.
Opened in 2012, the 46,000-square-foot museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and named in honor of Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of the university and advocates for the arts who provided the lead gift of $28 million.
Board of Advisors
- Alan Ross, Chair
- Bill Trevarthen, Vice Chair
- Dr. Christopher Abood
- Dr. Carol Beals
- Tom Berding
- Susie Brewster
- April Clobes
- Ron Dooley
- Irwin Elson
- Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Ex-officio
- Dr. Deborah Johnson, Ex-officio
- Hari Kern
- Edward Minskoff
- Dr. Judith Stoddart, Ex-officio
- Jordan Sutton
- David Young
In 1931 MSU’s Art Department was created, but it was not until 1959 that that the Kresge Art Gallery—later Museum— opened. The Kresge Art Center, which is still the home of the Department of Art, Art History & Design and the majority of the MSU Broad’s collection storage, sits on the north bank of the Red Cedar, just east of Farm Lane. From the beginning the Kresge brought together the university community and the arts community of Greater Lansing. However, while the museum contained some gallery space, it was regarded as inadequately small for the size of the collection, even as new galleries were added in later years.
In 1999, an independent community committee spearheaded by David and Ruth Greenbaum began discussing the need for a new facility in response to this lack of exhibition space. They worked closely with the Friends of Kresge board of trustees and museum director Dr. Susan Bandes with the goal of raising the profile of the cause for a Better Art Museum.
BAM, as the group came to be known, was not only successful in illustrating their case to the MSU administration, but also in raising regional awareness, identifying potential donors, and raising money. This grassroots effort created the foundation and paved the way for what is now the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.
Former MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon then invited MSU alumnus Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, prominent philanthropists and prolific art collectors, to see if they were interested in this project. The Broads proposed building a brand new, freestanding art museum on the university campus. Ultimately the site of the MSU Broad was chosen: between Grand River Avenue and East Circle Drive, near Farm Lane, a space visible to both the campus and the community.
The MSU Broad is proud to acknowledge its history and lasting connection with the many people who ensured that an art museum was a vital part of the MSU and Greater Lansing community.
ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD
Eli and Edythe Broad are lifelong philanthropists. Their generosity across the areas of education reform, scientific and medical research, the arts, and civic endeavors in their hometown of Los Angeles has been enabled by Eli Broad’s five-decade career in business, building two Fortune 500 companies from the ground up. He is the founder of both SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home (formerly Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation).
Today, the Broads are devoted to philanthropy as founders of The Broad Foundations, which they established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, have assets of $2.6 billion.
Over the past four decades, the Broads have built two of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide: The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection and The Broad Art Foundation. The collection includes more than 2,000 works by over 200 artists. Since 1984, The Broad Art Foundation has operated an active “lending library” of its extensive collection. Dedicated to increasing access to contemporary art for audiences worldwide, The Broad Art Foundation has provided over 500 museums and university galleries worldwide with more than 8,000 loans of artwork.
Mr. Broad was the founding chairman and is a life trustee of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, to which The Broad Foundation gave a $30 million challenge grant in December 2008 to rebuild the museum’s endowment and to provide exhibition support. He is a life trustee of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the Broads made a $60 million gift to build the Renzo Piano-designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum, which opened in February 2008, and to fund an art acquisition budget. In September 2015, The Broad opened in downtown Los Angeles, a contemporary art museum and headquarters for The Broad Art Foundation on Grand Avenue.
Tireless advocates of Los Angeles, the Broads have championed the cultural and architectural vitality of the city. Committed to the belief that all great cities need a vibrant center, Mr. Broad was the visionary behind the development of Grand Avenue, which will blend residential, retail, cultural and recreational uses into a civic centerpiece to rival the main boulevards of the world’s greatest cities. In 1996, Mr. Broad and then-Mayor Richard Riordan spearheaded the fundraising campaign to build the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened to worldwide acclaim in October 2003. The Broads provided the lead gift to the Los Angeles Opera to create a new production of Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2009–2010. They gave $10 million in 2008 to create an endowment for programming and arts education at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage and The Edye Second Space at the Santa Monica College performing arts center
From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Broad served as a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution by appointment of the U.S. Congress and the President. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1994 was named Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor by the Republic of France. Mr. Broad serves on the board of the Future Generation Art Prize. He received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007 and the David Rockefeller Award from the Museum of Modern Art in March 2009. Strong believers in higher education, the Broads have further extended their philanthropy in the arts. The Broad Foundation made a major contribution to the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA for The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, designed by Richard Meier. In 1991, the Broads endowed The Eli Broad College of Business and The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University (MSU), where Mr. Broad graduated cum laude in 1954. In June 2007, the Broads announced a $26 million gift to create the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU, and they gave another $2 million to the project in January 2010. The Zaha Hadid-designed museum opened in November 2012.
Mr. Broad's first book, The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking, was published by Wiley in May 2012 and is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller.
Mr. Broad died on April 30, 2021 at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife Edythe and their two sons, Jeffrey and Gary.
Eli and Edythe Broad in front of the MSU Broad Art Museum. Photo courtesy of University Communications.
Edward Minskoff (left) with Eli and Edythe Broad. Photo courtesy of University Communications.
Remembering the Legacy of Eli Broad
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum recognizes the immense legacy of humanitarian, entrepreneur, arts advocate, and MSU alumnus Eli Broad (1933–2021).
Mr. Broad and his wife Edythe believed in the vision of a world-class art museum for Michigan State University. In June 2007, the Broads stepped forward to improve the landscape of MSU’s campus when they announced a $26 million gift to build the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University—and in doing so, they transformed arts access in the state of Michigan for good.
The design for the building was selected through a competition that engaged some of the world’s most forward-thinking architects. A contemporary design by Zaha Hadid was selected, and the resulting architectural marvel embodies Mr. Broad’s drive to always think outside of the box and remain uncompromising in his pursuit of excellence in both business and philanthropy. Situated on Grand River Avenue with two entrances—one facing MSU and the other the City of East Lansing—the building also reified Mr. Broad’s vision for the museum as a place of connection between art, campus, and community.
Mr. and Mrs. Broad furthered their support for the museum by investing an added $2 million toward construction in 2010, and an additional $5 million in 2014 to increase the museum’s endowment and help fund future exhibitions. The Eli and Edythe Broad endowed exhibitions fund continues to make countless exhibitions possible today.
The Broads also generously gifted the museum with 19 works from prominent artists of the 1980s and 90s, including Ross Bleckner, Sue Williams, Roxy Paine, and Jonathan Borofsky. An exhibition celebrating the Broad gift will be mounted for the MSU Broad Art Museum’s 10th anniversary in 2022, which is slated to open in January of that year.
In keeping with Mr. Broad’s commitment to ensuring that art is accessible to the widest possible audience, the MSU Broad Art Museum is—and always will be—free and open to the public. It invites both scholars and members of the community to immerse themselves in work by local, national, and international artists, as well as a permanent collection of over 10,000 works. As the only museum of its kind in over a 60-mile radius, and one of the few contemporary art museums in Michigan, Mr. Broad’s civic altruism has provided countless people with the opportunity to visit an art museum for the first time.
Mr. Broad’s lifelong commitment to giving back has left an incomparable legacy at his alma mater. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Broad have given nearly $100 million in support to Michigan State University. His immeasurable generosity of spirit will continue to impact Spartans and members of our communities for generations to come.
Photos courtesy of University Communications.
Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical, and academic work. Each of her projects builds on over thirty years of exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture, and design.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1950, Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to attend the Architectural Association (AA) School where she was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. Hadid founded Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in 1979 and completed her first building, the Vitra Fire Station, Germany, in 1993. Hadid taught at the AA School until 1987 and held numerous chairs and guest professorships at universities around the world including Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Hadid’s outstanding contribution to the architectural profession has been acknowledged by the world’s most respected institutions including the Forbes List of the “World’s Most Powerful Women” and the Japan Art Association presenting her with the “Praemium Imperiale.” In 2010 and 2011, ZHA’s designs were awarded the Stirling Prize, one of architecture’s highest accolades, by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Other awards include UNESCO naming Hadid as an “Artist for Peace,” the Republic of France honoring Hadid with the “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” and TIME Magazine included her in their list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and in February 2016, she received the Royal Gold Medal.
Zaha Hadid’s pioneering vision redefined architecture and design for the 21st century and captured imaginations across the globe. Zaha Hadid Architecture’s work sees form and space pulled into breathtaking, fluid spatial progressions. Enticingly contextual, these buildings transform notions of what can be achieved in concrete, steel, and glass, combining her unwavering belief in the power of invention and optimism for the future with concepts of fluidity and connectivity.
The evolution of Hadid’s buildings—from the interlocking forms of the Vitra Fire Station to the awesome, flowing urban spaces of the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century art in Rome, London Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics and Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku—demonstrates a consistent desire to question and innovate. Form and space are woven within structure. These are buildings which emerge from their context and are also capable of knitting disparate programs together; always surprising and always making connections.
Each of Hadid’s designs display the innovative research and investigation that instigates and defines her work. As Zaha Hadid stated in her 2011 conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Galleries, “I know from my experience that without research and experimentation not much can be discovered. With experimentation, you think you’re going to find out one thing, but you actually discover something else. That’s what I think is really exciting. You discover much more than you bargain or. I think there should be no end to experimentation.”
Zaha Hadid passed away on March 31, 2016 in Miami, FL.