Art world stars, Hollywood A-listers and political power players will collide Thursday evening when the Broad museum stages its long-awaited, opening-night gala. In advance of the public opening Sunday, about 800 guests are expected for the black-tie affair at the new $140-million Grand Avenue landmark in downtown L.A.
The list of artists, gallerists and cultural figures expected to attend reads like a who’s who of that world: Mark Bradford, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Frank Gehry, Urs Fischer, Doug Aitken, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Lari Pittman, Catherine Opie and Barbara Kruger, among others. Composer and former L.A. Philharmonic conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will be there. So too will Michael Govan, chief executive and director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum in Westwood; and Philippe Vergne, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, across the street.
Val Kilmer and Rosanna Arquette are scheduled to be among the Hollywood celebrities walking the red carpet Thursday evening. Also expected: actress Jami Gertz, Creative Artists Agency co-founder Michael Ovitz, former Disney chief Michael Eisner and William Morris Endeavor co-chief Ari Emanuel.
The event will be thick with politicians, business titans and other civic leaders, among them Mayor Eric Garcetti, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, state Senate leader Kevin de León, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, Wendi Murdoch and former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan.
They will join museum founders Eli and Edythe Broad, museum founding director Joanne Heyler and architect Elizabeth Diller of New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which designed the building.
There were so many invitees, in fact, that the “opening night” celebration has been divided into two nights: Thursday evening’s black-tie event, and a Friday dinner with guests in cocktail attire. The dinners will have similar menus and the same entertainment. Both will be held atop the parking garage across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall, with a view of the Broad, City Hall, the Colburn School and the Bunker Hill area.
How did the Broad go about dividing up the 1,600-person guest list?
Both of the Broads and Heyler developed the guest list, the museum said. The emphasis Thursday is artists in the inaugural exhibition, gallerists representing those artists, collectors from around the world and major international museum directors. Friday includes artists in the collection, Los Angeles civic and business leaders, friends and family, the museum said.
The museum said guests expected for the Friday-night dinner include dancer and director Debbie Allen; actresses Reese Witherspoon and Fran Drescher; director Ava DuVernay; City Attorney Mike Feuer; Councilmen Mitchell Englander and Paul Krekorian; Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas, Don Knabe and Sheila Kuehl, artists Elliott Hundley, Sharon Lockhart and Alex Israel; former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley; Carmen Puliafito, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC; Sumner Redstone, executive chairman and controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom Inc.; media titan Haim Saban; former ambassador Rockwell Schnabel; art dealer Vito Schnabel; the actor Michael York and his wife, the photographer Pat York.
Edythe Broad, who has helped to shape the museum’s collection of postwar and contemporary art, will lend her personal stamp on the dinner table centerpieces, inspired by her pop-up book collection. The tables will have 3-D paper LED sculptures featuring cultural institutions along Grand Avenue. They were designed and produced by local artist Renee Jablow.
The menus for both events are a collaboration between Wolfgang Puck and Timothy Hollingsworth, chef of Otium, the restaurant on the public plaza adjacent to the Broad.
Musical guests for both nights are not yet being revealed.
@debvankin will be live-tweeting from the gala Thursday night. Check Culture Monster for red carpet photos and a post-event wrap-up.