Beginning in February, visitors to the UCLA Hammer Museum in Westwood will be able to enjoy all of the museum's collections and exhibitions free of charge, Hammer director Ann Philbin announced Oct. 5 at the museum's annual "Gala in the Garden" fundraiser.
The elimination of admission fees for the next four years was made possible by two gifts received over the summer, from longtime Hammer benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter. The museum is committed to doing away with fees permanently.
Glazer, who has worked in the real estate and construction fields and as a private investor, is a longtime art collector who joined the Hammer's board of directors in 2009. "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," she said.
Potter, a fine art commissioner for the city of Beverly Hills, has been a Hammer supporter since 2003. "Helping to provide the community with access to all that the Hammer has to offer is very important to me," she said.
The museum, which presents a variety of exhibitions, is also home to a number of permanent collections, including the Armand Hammer Collection of Old Master, Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings; the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection; and the collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, which features more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs and artists' books dating from the Renaissance to the present.
In addition, the museum organizes approximately 10 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.
Free admission to the museum will coincide with the opening of the Hammer's 2014 season in early February.
"We have been working towards free admission for years," Philbin said. "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."
For more information, please visit the Hammer's website.