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Museum History



The MSU Broad Art Museum connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquiry. Opened in 2012, the 46,000-square-foot museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and named in honor of Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of the university and advocates for the arts who provided the lead gift of $28 million.

With a focus on the art of our time—in dialogue with the historical—the museum encourages engagement with timely issues of local relevance and global significance. Through a program that features local, national, and international artists, a permanent collection of over 10,000 works, and dynamic public programming, the MSU Broad Art Museum advances the values of quality, inclusion, and connectivity that are paramount to Michigan State University.

The MSU Broad Art Museum is committed to amplifying stories and perspectives by historically underrepresented communities. We strive to create an inclusive environment for meaningful dialogue with the many communities we serve.

The values of co-creation and co-learning guide our approach. Our community-centered strategies work to confront implicit bias, systemic racism, and social inequalities. These efforts support our goal of creating a more just and equitable society through the arts.


In 1931 MSU’s Art Department was created, but it was not until 1959 that that the Kresge Art Gallery—later Museum—opened. The Kresge Art Center, which is still the home of the Department of Art, Art History & Design and the majority of the MSU Broad Art Museum’s collection storage, sits on the north bank of the Red Cedar, just east of Farm Lane. From the beginning the Kresge brought together the university community and the arts community of Greater Lansing. However, while the museum contained some gallery space, it was regarded as inadequately small for the size of the collection, even as new galleries were added in later years.

In 1999, an independent community committee spearheaded by David and Ruth Greenbaum began discussing the need for a new facility in response to this lack of exhibition space. They worked closely with the Friends of Kresge board of trustees and museum director Dr. Susan Bandes with the goal of raising the profile of the cause for a Better Art Museum.

BAM, as the group came to be known, was not only successful in illustrating their case to the MSU administration, but also in raising regional awareness, identifying potential donors, and raising money. This grassroots effort created the foundation and paved the way for what is now the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Former MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon then invited MSU alumnus Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, prominent philanthropists and prolific art collectors, to see if they were interested in this project. The Broads proposed building a brand new, freestanding art museum on the university campus. Ultimately the site of the MSU Broad Art Museum was chosen: Between Grand River Avenue and East Circle Drive, near Farm Lane, a space visible to both the campus and the community.

The MSU Broad Art Museum is proud to acknowledge its history and lasting connection with the many people who ensured that an art museum was a vital part of the MSU and Greater Lansing community.

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