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Nov. 12, 2012

Broad Art Museum at MSU opens new Zaha Hadid building

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, a new Zaha Hadid-designed contemporary art museum, opened Nov. 10 following a public dedication ceremony.

The ceremony included Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, founding donors Eli and Edythe Broad, architect Zaha Hadid, founding museum director Michael Rush, MSU Provost Kim Wilcox and MSU Trustee Chairman Joel Ferguson. More than 2,000 people attended.

The museum also hosted an open house on Nov. 11 that brought more than 3,000 visitors to the new building.

Dedicated to exploring global contemporary culture and ideas through art, the Broad Art Museum at MSU will serve as both an educational resource for the campus community and a cultural hub for the mid-Michigan region. The museum will present contemporary works within a historical context through access to a study collection of more than 7,500 objects, ranging from the Greek and Roman periods to modern art.

The museum is named in honor of MSU alumnus Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, longtime supporters of the university who provided the lead gift of $28 million for the museum. The total fundraising goal for the building was $40 million which was met through private donors before the doors opened to the public.

“Great art deserves great architecture, and so does a great university,” Simon said. “The Broad Museum’s bold concept and design reflect Michigan State’s ethos of connecting both campus and community to world-class innovation, global vision and transformative opportunity.”

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Hadid, the 46,000-square-foot Broad Art Museum at MSU features a striking façade of pleated stainless steel and glass, distinguishing the building from the traditional brick Collegiate Gothic north campus, and signaling the museum and the university’s forward-looking approach. The building features galleries for special exhibitions, modern and contemporary art, new media, photography and works on paper. The facility also includes an education wing, a works-on-paper study center, shop and café. Adjacent to the museum is an expansive outdoor sculpture garden and a large pedestrian plaza.

Located at one of the main entrances to campus at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Farm Lane, the Broad Art Museum at MSU will serve as a gateway between the university and the East Lansing community.

“Edye and I are delighted to make this innovative museum possible, and we expect that people from East Lansing and around the world will be drawn to see this bold architecture as much as to view the art within its walls,” Broad said. “This museum has special significance to us because it represents the intersection of two of our passions – art and education. There is no doubt that this museum will help propel MSU far into the future as it serves and enriches the students and community.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, and are eager to bring our full spectrum of programs to the campus and the East Lansing community,” Rush said. “With this extraordinary new building, our great study collection and our focus on exploring contemporary art from around the world, we are creating a university art museum unlike any other.”

The museum will also actively engage with the international artistic community through a series of partnerships with contemporary art spaces around the world. During the opening events, the Broad MSU connected visitors via live internet feeds with Protocinema and Salt in Istanbul; Grey Noise in Dubai; Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing; 53 Museum in Guangzhou, China; and San Art in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Broad MSU’s inaugural exhibitions, special projects and commissions, curated by Rush, include:

  • “Global Groove 1973/2012” (on view through Feb. 24, 2013) features Nam June Paik’s seminal video from 1973, “Global Groove,” as a jumping off point to explore current trends in international video art.
  • “In Search of Time” (on view through Feb. 10, 2013). In celebrating the opening of this iconic building at MSU, “In Search of Time” seeks to explore the longing artists have held for hundreds of years to express their relationship to time and memory.
  • Marco Brambilla’s “Evolution” is a densely packed, mesmerizing 3-D video that recounts the entire history of human evolution, illustrated as a vast side-scrolling video mural depicting the spectacle of human conflict and triumph across time.
  • Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle will create a monumental sculpture that references the work of Buckminster Fuller, suspended by cable in the 32-feet-high portion of the northwest gallery on the first floor of the museum.
  • Marjetica Ptroč will construct “Soweto House with Prepaid Water Meter,” part of the artist’s ongoing global exploration of housing situations and solutions in currently or formerly unplanned cities.
  • Chen Qiulin will create an installation with suspended bodies reflecting those lost in the floods of the massive Three Gorges project in China, including a video of a wedding of two young residents who proclaim the undaunted future of the region.
  • Nguyen Phuong Linh will create a two-ton sculpture of a boat made entirely of salt, referencing both migration and daily living in her native country.
  • “Fritz Haeg: Domestic Integrities” began in early September 2012 at a temporary space and is on view in the museum through January 2013. Organized by curator of contemporary art Ali Gass and director of education Aimee Shapiro, “Domestic Integrities” explores local patterns and rituals of interior domestic landscapes—the ways in which local resources are harvested and digested into the home, bringing the outdoors in.

The Broad Art Museum at MSU will fulfill its dual role as a teaching institution and as a cultural hub for the region through a program of original and traveling exhibitions, initiatives with living artists, performances and educational offerings for students, faculty and the community. By facilitating exploration of contemporary ideas and global issues across disciplines through the lens of the artist, the museum will serve as an academic resource and a center for student and public engagement, enjoyment and multidisciplinary learning.

The Broad MSU is located on 547 East Circle Drive. Admission is free. Museum hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from noon to 9 p.m.; closed Monday. For more information, visit

By: Lisa Mulcrone