Private art for public good

A visitor wanders through Under the Table by artist Robert Therrien at the press preview of the new The Broad contemporary art museum in California, US, on Wednesday.

The 12,000 sq ft three-storey museum, built by local philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, houses nearly 2,000 works from one of the most prominent collections of contemporary art in the world.

Over the last half century, the couple have amassed one of the most valuable collections of contemporary art. Mr Eli Broad, a self-made billionaire who helmed two Fortune 500 companies, decided to spend US$140 million (S$195 million) of his money to build a museum to showcase his collection to the public. Artists represented include Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.

The Broads' goal is to make contemporary art more accessible. It has been described as a museum "designed to delight" and it opens to the public next week.

Admission to the permanent collection galleries is free.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2015, with the headline 'Private art for public good'. Print Edition | Subscribe