Westwood News
Hammer Museum Offering Free Admissions
By Amanda Macke
Oct 7, 2013 - 8:21:09 PM

WESTWOOD—Hammer Museum Director, Ann Philbin, announced that the museum would be completely free to the public starting February 2014.


The announcement came during the Hammer Museum’s eleventh annual Gala on Saturday, October 5. This year’s Gala honored artist Robert Gober and playwright Tony Kushner with tribute speeches, entertainment and dinner catered by Lucques, according to the museum’s press release. Influential artists and leaders sipped on cocktails and sampled appetizers with famous faces like Jodie Foster, Diane Kruger and Will Ferrell (who reportedly impersonated Tom Hanks, who was unable to attend the event), as they viewed current exhibitions in the museum’s outdoor courtyard.


The sold-out event attracted nearly 600 guests and raised $2 million in donations for the museum’s exhibitions and free public programs.

The Hammer Museum. Photo credit by Elon Schoenholz.

Museum Director, Ann Philbin, announced the Hammer would eliminate its admission fee and become entirely free to the public beginning February 9, 2014. She credited “two generous gifts from longtime Hammer Museum benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter” for allowing the first four years of free admission to be possible, the press release stated.


The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center at UCLA is one of three public art institutions managed by UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture. As a self-described, “unique, cutting-edge arts institution that connects the classics and the contemporary through its varied collections, wide-ranging exhibitions, and provocative programs.” The Hammer Museum provides free public programs and free museum admissions to UCLA students, children under 17, military personnel, and all visitors every Thursday. The Center offers over 250 free public programs each year, including musical performances, screenings, readings, lectures, political forums and conversations between cultural figures.


On Monday, October 7, the Hammer Museum's website declared the new membership model would be introduced in January 2014. According to the site, the push to eliminate all public fees is in accordance with the institution’s ethos 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” and believes “offering free admission will play a crucial role in furthering this position.”

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