The Hammer Museum, the organization that hosted the The Venice Beach Biennial in June of 2012, has announced that it will eliminate its admission fee and become entirely FREE to the public in 2014. Free admission will coincide with the opening of the Hammer’s 2014 exhibition season in early February. Hammer director Ann Philbin announced the news at the Museum’s annual “Gala in the Garden” fundraiser over the weekend.
From the Hammer:
The Hammer is committed to eliminating admission fees permanently. Free admission for the first four years is made possible by two gifts received over the summer from longtime Hammer Museum benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter. Erika Glazer is an art collector who joined the Hammer’s Board of Directors in 2009. She has worked in the real estate business, construction, and as a private investor since 1976.
“It is rare that you have an opportunity to make a gift that simultaneously helps transform an institution and serves the public in a very broad and meaningful way,” remarked Glazer. “I’m very happy to be a part of this.”
Brenda Potter has been a Hammer supporter since 2003. An avid art collector, Potter is also a Fine Art Commissioner for the City of Beverly Hills.
“I’ve supported the Hammer for many years. The quality of their exhibitions and public programs is outstanding,” said Potter. “Helping to provide the community with access to all that the Hammer has to offer is very important to me.”
“We have been working towards free admission for years,” said Hammer Director Annie Philbin. “Our public programs have always been free and now with Brenda and Erika’s support we are finally able to provide open access to all of the Hammer’s offerings. It is part of our institutional ethos—we want to foster a generosity of spirit which emphasizes the essential importance of dialogue, culture, creativity in everyone’s lives—regardless of one’s ability to pay.”
The Hammer will also debut a new membership model beginning in January 2014, placing an emphasis on substantial engagement with the public while encouraging repeat visits to the Museum’s exhibitions and public programs. Details on the new membership model, which will feature the ability to earn membership to the Hammer through regular Museum participation, will be announced in January.
“We believe that museums can and should have a significant impact on civic life. They have the ability to cultivate understanding and open minds,” Philbin continued. “Together with our recent gifts from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Foundation supporting family programming, and the UCLA Dream Fund supporting public programs, we can serve new and more communities in a truly robust way.”
The Hammer’s roster of more than 250 public programs each year—including readings, lectures, conversations between cultural figures, political forums, musical performances, and screenings—have been free for over a decade. The Museum’s shift to free admission builds on its current practice of offering free admission for several groups including students, children under 17, military personnel, and for all visitors every Thursday. In its role as a cultural center, the Hammer strives to be a vibrant intellectual forum for the exploration of art and ideas and believes offering free admission will play a crucial role in furthering this position.
ABOUT THE HAMMER MUSEUM
The Hammer Museum—a public arts unit of the University of California, Los Angeles—is dedicated to exploring the diversity of artistic expression through the ages. Its collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge in art, architecture, and design, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society.
The museum houses the Armand Hammer Collection of old master, impressionist, and postimpressionist paintings and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. The museum also houses the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts—comprising more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books from the Renaissance to the present—and oversees the management of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer’s newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection, is highlighted by works by artists such as Lari Pittman, Kara Walker, Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger, Mark Bradford, Richard Hawkins, and Llyn Foulkes, among many others.
The Hammer presents major single-artist and thematic exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. It also presents approximately ten Hammer Projects exhibitions each year, providing international and local artists with a laboratory-like environment to create new work or to present existing work in a new context.
As a cultural center, the Hammer offers a diverse array of free public programs throughout the year, including lectures, readings, symposia, film screenings, and music performances. These widely acclaimed public programs are presented in the Hammer’s Billy Wilder Theater, which is also the home of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s renowned cinemathèque.
HAMMER MUSEUM INFORMATION
For current program and exhibition information, call 310-443-7000 or visit www.hammer.ucla.edu.
Admission: FREE FOR ALL VISITORS BEGINNING FEBRUARY 9, 2014. Currently: $10 for adults; $5 for seniors (65+) and UCLA Alumni Association members; free for museum members, students with 2 identification, UCLA faculty/staff, military personnel, veterans, and visitors 17 and under. The museum is free on Thursdays for all visitors. Public programs are always free.
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11am–8pm; Saturday & Sunday 11am–5pm; closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Location/Parking: The Hammer is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, at Westwood Boulevard. Parking is available under the Museum. Rate is $3 for three hours with museum validation. Bicycles park free.