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Pushing Boundaries

New $5 Million Broad Foundation gift for exhibitions honors bold vision of founding director.

Eli and Edythe Broad with Founding Broad MSU Director Michael Rush

From its steely, futuristic tilts to its global and always unconventional exhibits, the magnetism of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, now in its second year, is undeniable.

The Broad MSU recently received a $5 million gift from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to increase the museum’s exhibition endowment and to help fund art installations for the next five years. The gift honors the founding director, Michael Rush, for his leadership in creating the explorative exhibitions and programming that already have made the museum a center for questioning and understanding the modern world.

 “Michael Rush is realizing the vision for Broad MSU, bringing contemporary artists from around the globe to East Lansing and drawing audiences from around the state, across the country and from all corners of the world,” says Eli Broad. “The exhibitions presented at the museum provide opportunities for students and the community to experience art that they might otherwise never see, while simultaneously drawing new visitors to East Lansing. Edythe and I are pleased to recognize Michael Rush’s leadership in creating this unique institution and we wanted to ensure that the museum continues to push boundaries in the types of exhibitions it presents.”

With this new gift, alumnus Eli Broad and his wife Edythe have invested a total of $33 million in Broad at MSU, in addition to significant gifts of art. The Broads were the catalyst for the museum, providing a $28 million lead gift for the design and construction of Broad MSU’s Zaha Hadid-designed building and establishing exhibition and operations endowments and a fund for acquisitions.

“Since its opening in November 2012, the Broad Museum at MSU already has had a transformational impact on Michigan State University, the East Lansing community and the region. This new endowment gift will ensure the museum can continue to advance its mission through engaging exhibitions,” says Lou Anna K. Simon, president of MSU. “We are grateful to Eli and Edythe Broad for their continued generosity and support of programs throughout our campus, and particularly for the museum.”

With a collection containing 7,500 objects from the Greek and Roman periods through the Renaissance and on to the Modern, Broad MSU is uniquely able to contextualize the wide range of contemporary art practices within a firm historical context. Many of the international artists featured are presenting their work for the first time at an American museum or creating new site-responsive commissions for their exhibitions. Of the 32 exhibitions presented thus far at the museum, works by artists from more than 30 countries have been featured.

“The exhibitions we develop at Broad MSU complement and add to Michigan State University’s globally focused mission, and we often work with artists in countries where MSU has already developed programs,” says Rush. “This new endowment gift will allow us to continue this type of programming well into the future and I am deeply honored that the Broads have given this gift in my name.”

For more information on making a gift to the museum, contact Assistant Director of Development Shalynn Sapotichne at sapotic1@msu.edu or call (517) 884-3914.