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Museums woo a new generation with ‘Instagram worthy’ art

New York college students Helen Chen and Siyin Li are only visiting Los Angeles for a few days, but they decided to spend their Sunday afternoon in a line that wraps around the block.

“The minute we booked our trip, we bookmarked [The Broad],” says Ms. Chen.

The Broad, a free contemporary art museum in downtown L.A., has welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors since its opening in September 2015. The museum’s popularity has tripled annual expectations, say staff, and they attribute a lot of its success to Yayoi Kusama’s work, both her “Infinity Mirrors” exhibition that was on display last fall and one of the permanent pieces in the museum’s collection, “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.”

“It’s an Instagram-worthy shot for sure,” says Ms. Chen, pointing to a picture on her phone that a friend took in Ms. Kusama’s room at The Broad and shared on Instagram. In fact, the hashtag #YayoiKusama has 563,200 posts on the social media site.

“The only reason people know about it is because of Instagram,” says Ms. Li.

That may be true for the Millennials in the crowd, who indicate that they consider the photo opportunity to be the museum’s major draw.

While New York City-based exhibits, such as the Museum of Ice Cream and Refinery29’s 29Rooms, ventured to the West Coast last year and sold out in a matter of minutes, Los Angeles has become a hotbed for Instagram-ready art installations in its own right. Read more

2018-10-29T09:51:28+00:00