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Hammer Museum to Unveil New Space

Grand Park and the City Hall in Los Angeles City California

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The UCLA Hammer Museum is marking the culmination of a two-decade expansion project this weekend, with doors scheduled to open to the public Sunday for the museum's new spaces and inaugural exhibitions.

Sunday's opening will follow a special members event Saturday in the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Cultural Center -- named in recognition of the global philanthropists' major gift to the Hammer -- that will unveil the new spaces designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture.

"We are thrilled to welcome everyone to a re-imagined Hammer Museum and the newly named Lynda and Stewart Resnick Cultural Center," museum director Ann Philbin said. "It's beyond gratifying to see these new spaces filled with powerful artworks spanning an entire city block of Wilshire Boulevard, inviting the community into the museum.

"I'm grateful to the generosity and support of Lynda and Stewart Resnick, as well as our board chair Marcy Carsey and so many generous donors to our campaign, which have brought us to this milestone that has been more than 20 years in the making. It's been a joy to work so closely with Michael Maltzan all these years and to celebrate this moment together."

The opening of the Resnick Cultural Center follows the renovation of the museum's existing galleries, public event spaces and restaurant, expansion of its offices, addition of a new gallery and study center for works on paper, and renovation of the Hammer Store.

The museum has now grown by 40,000 square feet, while gallery space has increased by 60%.

Highlights include new street-level exhibition spaces, an expansive lobby that will house rotating installations of site-specific commissions, a new 5,600-square-foot gallery facing Wilshire Boulevard near Glendon Avenue, and an outdoor sculpture terrace at the corner of Wilshire and Glendon.

The new spaces will feature an installation work by Chiharu Shiota, a large-scale artwork by Rita McBride, and a 25-foot-tall cast bronze sculpture by Sanford Biggers. Within the museum, nearly all of the Hammer's galleries will be dedicated to showcasing the facility's permanent collection of contemporary art.

"Thanks to Ann Philbin and her amazing team, we had a clear vision of what the Hammer should become, from the moment we began designing the master plan for what was then a cloistered, private museum of historic European painting," Michael Maltzan said.

"That clarity sustained us through a process that demanded extraordinary persistence and inventiveness, because we needed to work in phases as we reshaped, reconfigured, opened, and expanded the Hammer. This was truly a case of building the airplane while you were flying it. I can't think of any other client that would have had the daring and imagination to carry it off."

Admission to regularly scheduled exhibitions and programs at the Hammer is free. The museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., a few blocks south of the UCLA campus.

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