The Easel

4th May 2021

The art world knew him as Eli. How Broad was friend and foe to museums

Broad gave generously of his time and money and was instrumental in making Los Angeles a major art destination. Yet his obituaries expose the ambiguities of philanthropy. Large scale philanthropy can create enduring public benefits but, from Broad, it came with a propensity to meddle. Is that any worse than the situation of public museums, blessed with deep collections but hamstrung and exhausted by limited public funding?