Joanne Heyler, Founding Director

Joanne Heyler, Founding Director

Joanne Heyler

Founding Director, The Broad

Director/Chief Curator, The Broad Art Foundation

Joanne Heyler is founding director of The Broad and a member of the museum’s board of directors. In addition to her role at The Broad, she serves as the director and chief curator of The Broad Art Foundation, which was created in 1984 as a pioneering lending library dedicated to increasing public access to contemporary art through an enterprising loan program and is now headquartered at The Broad. 

Committed to fulfilling the Broads’ longtime mission of contemporary art accessible to the widest possible audience, Ms. Heyler leads development of innovative approaches to museum programming, audience engagement, visitor services, marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, and digital platforms at The Broad. 

Starting in 2010, Ms. Heyler oversaw every aspect of the development of the museum, from building its staff, to setting its exhibition plans, to establishing The Broad’s international profile. Upon its opening, The Broad was the first entirely new major museum founded in Los Angeles in almost 20 years. Ms. Heyler worked closely with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gensler and numerous specialists to ensure optimal realization of the 120,000-square-foot museum, which houses nearly all 2,000+ works in the Broad collection. Marking the occasion of the opening of The Broad, she curated the museum’s inaugural installation, assembling a predominately chronological selection of masterworks from the Broad collection in the museum’s 50,000-square-feet of gallery space. 

As the director and chief curator of The Broad Art Foundation, Ms. Heyler has grown the foundation’s collection 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 Mark Bradford, Sharon Lockhart, Kara Walker, Jeff Wall, 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 program to over 8,500 loans to over 500 museums and galleries worldwide since its founding in 1984.

Ms. Heyler has worked for the Broads since 1989 and is closely involved with their 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. In 2017, she was included in Los Angeles magazine’s “11 Women Who are Making L.A. a Better Place” alongside advocates, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers. Ms. Heyler and her family live in South Pasadena.

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