Joanne Heyler, Founding Director

Joanne Heyler, photo by Adrian Gaut

Joanne Heyler 
Founding Director, The Broad 
Director/Chief Curator, The Broad Art Foundation 

Joanne Heyler is founding director of The Broad, a contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad in downtown Los Angeles. She has curated the Broad collection and directed The Broad Art Foundation’s “lending library” program since 1995.

When philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad decided to build a museum for their collection, Ms. Heyler was charged with transitioning the private foundation into a new public art museum. Over the past five years, she has developed the institution’s profile, built its staff and overseen the construction of The Broad museum and the development of every aspect of the museum's operations and programming. She has worked closely with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gensler, MATT Construction, structural engineers and numerous specialists, from lighting designers to seismic experts, to ensure optimal realization of the 120,000-square-foot museum, which houses nearly all 2,000+ works in the Broad collection. The Broad is the first entirely new major museum founded in Los Angeles in almost 20 years. Marking the occasion of the opening of The Broad, she has curated The Broad’s inaugural installation, carefully assembling a predominately chronological selection of masterworks from the Broad collection in the museum’s 50,000-square-feet of gallery space.

Ms. Heyler has worked for Eli and Edythe Broad since 1989, advising them as art collectors and helping to build The Broad Art Foundation collection, which she has directed and served as its chief curator for more than 20 years. Under her direction, the collection has grown by over 65 percent, with the addition of 70 artists, including deep representations of work by crucial postwar figures like Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, as well as work by more recent figures like Damien Hirst, Sharon Lockhart, Kara Walker and others. The Broad collection continues to grow by about a work a week under her guidance. Ms. Heyler also oversees the foundation's lending library, expanding the reach of the innovative program to more than 8,000 loans to some 500 museums worldwide since its founding in 1984.

Ms. Heyler is closely involved with the Broads’ major philanthropic investments in the visual arts, which have included the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Zaha Hadid-designed Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Ms. Heyler received her bachelor’s degree in art history from Scripps College and a master’s degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of London University. She lives in Los Angeles.