Hammer Museum at UCLA celebrates long-awaited expansion and transformation

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The Hammer Museum at UCLA has unveiled the two-decades-in-the-making transformation of its physical spaces. The changes to the museum further establish it as a true hub for seeing, learning and gathering in Los Angeles.

The Hammer now stretches the length of the entire block of Wilshire Boulevard between Westwood Boulevard and Glendon Avenue, with street-level exhibition space visible from the outside and anchored by the new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Cultural Center.

Designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, these spaces include an expansive lobby, which will hold a series of site-specific installations; a new 5,600-square-foot gallery; and an outdoor sculpture terrace.

In a press preview leading up to the public opening, Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin thanked the staff, donors and supporters who made the transformation possible, particularly the Resnicks, whose $30 million donation in 2018 was the largest in the museum’s history.

“Michael [Maltzan] and I have been working on the museum inside and out almost from the day I arrived,” Philbin said. “We shared a vision of the Hammer Museum as a major civic and urban presence in the city that is supportive of its growth, diversity and progress.”

At a special preview for museum members and donors, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block credited Philbin for her central role in making UCLA and Westwood Village an arts destination since her arrival in 1999.

“Quite simply, she built it into a world-class institution,” Block said. “She developed new focus areas in contemporary art and Southern California art. She made the Hammer the leading exhibition space for emerging artists in our region — and, arguably, in the entire country. She created new public programs and deepened our connections to the L.A. arts community. And she encouraged the museum and its curators to face and grapple with the most complex and thorny issues of the day.”

Read more on UCLA Newsroom here.