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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, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society. The Hammer’s collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge, presenting historical and contemporary art, architecture, and design alongside selections from its permanent collections.
Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer in 1990, the Hammer’s collections include The Armand Hammer Collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist paintings and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. Associated UCLA collections include the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, comprising over 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books from the Renaissance to the present; and the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer’s newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection, is led by works on paper, particularly drawings and photographs from 1960 to the present.
The Hammer presents major single-artist and thematic exhibitions of historical and contemporary art generated by its curators or organized in collaboration with other institutions. The Hammer also presents approximately ten Hammer Projects 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.
The Hammer is a lively cultural center offering a diverse range of free public programs throughout the year, including lectures, readings, symposia, film screenings, music performances, and other events. The Billy Wilder Theater opened at the Hammer Museum in late 2006. This state-of-the-art venue houses the Hammer’s widely acclaimed public programs and is also the new home of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s renowned cinematheque.