Arts/Culture
10:20 am
Sat March 24, 2012

MSU Broad Art Museum pushes back opening, touts "virtual" museum experience

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University will not open April 21st as scheduled due to construction problems. Instead, the contemporary art museum will open sometime this fall.

But for those who just can’t wait to see what the inside of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum looks like, the folks at the Broad have created a “virtual” museum that anyone from anywhere in the world can access:

Michael Rush, the museum's director, describes it as a "totally virtual space: purely fictional, purely contrived. It’s sort of like a video game, really."

The inside of the virtual museum looks like a lot like the actual museum, but the interactive projects viewers encounters in that space are purely made up.

"You’re not going to be looking at paintings in there," says Rush. "It’s its own entity in which there are interactive projects created by artists that anyone throughout the world can access, can enhance the projects, can participate in the projects."

Rush, who was previously art director at museums in Boston and Florida, was appointed director of the Broad in  January 2011. When Michigan Radio interviewed him last year, he said one of his priorities as director was to reach out to students and get them involved -- as interns or docents, for example. He also expressed interested in having a student committee for the museum to help organize student events.

"I want this to be a hub for students, a place for them to bring their laptops and hang out, a place where they feel welcome and feel at home and also feel challenged by some of the things that go on there," explained Rush.

Eli and Edythe Broad gave $26 million to Michigan State University back in 2007 for a new art museum, which was originally supposed to be almost complete by the end of 2010.

A new opening date will likely be announced at the end of this month.

The entire project is expected to cost $40 - $45 million.