Since coming to the Hammer 10 years ago, the Hammer Museum's director, Ann Philbin, has placed artists at the center of the Museum's exhibitions and programs. She believes that artists are a kind of "first responders" to cultural and political shifts in society and play an important role in encouraging and engaging in a public dialogue.
Hammer Museum - new web site (launched Nov. 15, 2008)
James Elaine in China blog entry
Hammer Museum photo by Elon Schoenholz
"I feel so lucky to be in L.A. at this moment as some of the world's best contemporary artists are working and living here and the cultural scene is exploding. It's a very exciting time and the Hammer is uniquely positioned in this arena as the R & D arm for the arts at UCLA."
During her tenure at the Hammer, Philbin has been hard at work elevating the profile of the Hammer Museum from a regional gem to that of an international rising star. The Museum's historical and contemporary exhibitions and many public programs reflect Philbin's belief that its affiliation with UCLA is one of the Hammer's greatest strengths.
"We are a gateway for UCLA to connect with the entire world. This takes place in a variety of ways — whether it's through the array of local, national, and international artists whose work we show, the hundreds of incredible free public programs that are now available to a global audience by downloading from our new website, or by the work of our ambassador/ curator James Elaine who is currently living in China — the Hammer is committed to bringing the best new talent to UCLA and to demonstrating internationally that UCLA is on the cutting edge of culture."