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  • 3.0 star rating

    I had a chance to visit the Hammer museum on Thursday, when admission is free. My tour started with "Ed Ruscha: On the Road". I am a fan of the Kerouac novel, and found it pretty interesting, although I watched a few people walk through that part pretty quick. The permanent exhibits were pretty impressive, featuring some Van Gogh and a few other recognizable pieces. The remaining exhibits were contemporary art. I have become less and less enthralled by contemporary art. I found the "snow white dwarf" piece in the middle of a lonely room on the first floor. A "guard" followed me into the room, which was a little awkward since there was only that one piece, but everyone needs to experience that kind of awkwardness at least once in their life.

    You can find more information on the link to my blog on my profile.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Only stopped in to see the Sand Mandala that was being constructed and disolved during two weeks in Nov 2010.  Hope to get back soon and explore what I expect to be an important museum.

  • 3.0 star rating

    I used to live within walking distance to this Museum, yet, I've only been once. However, I do see celebrities and red carpet events here once in a while, probably relating to certain movie premiers that take place at the famous fox movie theater in Westwood.

    It's free, but I remember the museum experience being okay. I think it mainly depends on the art exhibit that's being featured.

  • 5.0 star rating

    This is a great museum with a varied collection that is certainly worth some of your afternoons and evenings. But what puts this over the top and has made it my favorite museum of all time: The ping pong.

    There are two ping pong tables that you can play on for free. Is there anything better than taking in a little culture and playing a little ping pong? There's not. There's really not.

    It's free on Thursdays or if you're a student which is convenient if you're broke like me.

  • 5.0 star rating

    i'm no art connoisseur but for those of you who happen to be in the Village, check this place out! HM (wow, did i just refer to it by those two letters?) has wonderful exhibits. admittedly, i don't understand the logic behind most of the art but someone's bound to. or somehow bs that they KNOW what the art means.

    best time to visit: summer. they have these free concerts of local bands as well as up-and-coming writers; a great way to spend your evenings without breaking the wallet. they even had michael cera come and speak here! conveniently located on westwood//wilshire so public transpo is def a plus.

    cheers to you, armand hammer museum! (like the baking soda).

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    this place is rockin! free thursdays and a twenty minute walk away from my abode may make me biased-but biased i shall be.

    the perm exhibit is fantastic, and they always have great visiting exhibits. the staff is friendly, the cafe is cute, the art is amazing, the events are ever-happening...i mean the list goes on. it's a must-visit in la.

    i feel like the only thing that would make it better is if you could ride in a golf cart through the museum...yeah...a golf cart ;)

    ps if you can make it soon pleaseohplease do yourself a favor and check out "Now Dig This" before it moves to NYC. youre welcome in advance ::deep grandeur curtsy::

  • 5.0 star rating
    Listed in Beverly Hills, Wilshire, Art

    Tonight the Hammer screened the West Coast premiere of  "The Yes Men Fix the World"

    Filmmakers Andy Bichlbaum & Mike Bonanno are the poster boys for chuztpah.  They turn up at corporate events impersonating executives of huge companies like Dow Chemical, then give a fake news conference saying they're going to distribute millions to the people victimized by Dow's chemical negligence.  The news agencies eat it up, putting it on blast, only to have to report back a scant couple hours later that it was a huge scam.

    Bichlbaum was there for Q&A after the film, as was Reggie Watts, a comic who portrayed the 'dying janitor' of one of the Fortune 500 companies.

    The expose' of corporate horrors was insane.  Michael Moore, you've got some catching up to do.

    Reggie Watts then performed in the courtyard.  The man's wild, it's not just the Fro.  He's a triple threat .. singer, musician, comic ... and good at them all.

    The Hammer is always in the forefront not just for art, but for film, architecture, poetry, and political panels.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    It's free for UCLA students so I can't complain. They have an interesting selection of works including a couple of Van Gogh's, a Monet, and a Rembrandt. They also had an interesting sculture exhibit by Alina Szapocznikow which was pretty neat. I really liked the idea of the ping pong tables on the top floor for those people who get bored of museums easily.

  • 4.0 star rating

    I can't believe I haven't seen a review on here say this...

    I love free ping pong. Possibly the most beautiful place I've ever played ping pong. I'd go all the time. Just for the tables. With that view?

    & the museum is free on Thursdays? Scoooore.

    Maybe I was just on a high from puppy love that morning or there was something in my tea at Espresso Profeta, but this place is worth a visit.

  • 2.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    Meh. Every time I go here (I've been a few more times than I've been able to check in) I'm treated like a little kid carrying a big ass ice cream cone who has come to tear some sh*t up. They take my backpack and assume that I'm going to use writing untensils to write on their precious art. Give me a break. I'm a college student and the least of my desires is to come graffiti art at snooty patooti UCLA Hammer Museum. They can take their silent art and shove it for all I care. I'll take my backpack elsewhere. Hmph.

  • 5.0 star rating

    LOVE this place and its secretly amazing courtyard. Came here the other day to check out the Rachel Whiteread show, an artist I love and admire. The exhibit showed an incredible cross section of her work. I felt like the curators arranged the show beautifully by showing her process in conceptualizing and creating finished pieces. I really got a sense of her work process, which was fascinating when an artist works on such a large scale so much of the time. The floor plan flowed & the staff were courteous and inobtrusive, it was just an all-around perfect experience as a visitor, and since it was a Thursday, it was free ('cept for the $5 parking)!

    The book store was wonderful too! Arranged well & also had the typical offbeat and interesting gifts we've come to know and expect from museums.

    I think - like other reviewers - I would have been disappointed if I expected it to feel like the LACMA - it's much smaller in comparison. Think of it more as the key special exhibit at a museum of comtemporary art....

  • 3.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Small museum which you can probably spend an hour or so in.

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/26/2009 Updated review
    Listed in Art & culture fix

    The best contemporary art museum on the West Coast... I love this place so much I became a member just so I can pretend I live close to it. (I don't live in LA.)

    The current show (Nic Hess, Larry Johnson, Second Nature) is stellar as usual. During a previous visit, I saw Paul Chan's "Birds... my trash... the future", Patty Chang's "Shangri-la", Fiona Tan's "Correction", and Stephen Shore all on the same day. What a treat.

    The food in the museum cafe run by Wolfgang Puck is also excellent (useful should you need to bribe your partner to come here). Hammer also has a very good permanent modern art collection in the wing next to the cafe. Plus it's in Westwood so you can use the subsidized museum parking to walk around a bit.

    5.0 star rating
    1/2/2008 Previous review
    A small, but ambitious museum, my favorite in California. The shows are adventurous and… Read more
  • 4.0 star rating
    Listed in CULTURE

    Perhaps Los Angeles' finest museum?

  • 4.0 star rating

    On a recent Thursday, I visited the Hammer for the first time. My initial impression of the structure/space itself is that it feels uninviting from the street with very few windows and an imposing exterior, but once you enter, you are welcomed into a special place. I had no idea it had a courtyard! The first floor has a cafe, event space, theater, and seating among trees. The second floor has the galleries and bookstore. The Hammer Collection (featuring pieces by van Gogh among others) is just the right size to be easily digestible. The Contemporary Collection boasted some impressive work like Elliot Hundley's Pentheus. The current exhibits I saw were arranged very nicely and the staff were all very helpful. It was free and easy to get to via bus. Overall a seriously overlooked (and largely unknown) art space. I wonder why it took so long for me to finally go here?!

  • 5.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    this trip stemmed from a pure fancy to see the mandala project and what a fabulous project it is.  unfortunately, today is the last day with a dissolution procession, so if you haven't caught it yet, you may have a tiny window today before it officially ends.  

    visiting lamas from the thubten choeling manstery in pharping, nepal has spent the last 2 weeks creating a sacred painting using millions of grains of colored sand sprinkled over a flat surface.  i dropped my coffee mug, created a huge disturbance (which rudely interrupted the lamas meditating and creating) and after all the initial shame on you stares, one of the lamas laughed and struck up a conversation with me.  he even speaks mandarin so we conversed in my native tongue.

    the mandala painting represents boundless compassion, purity and clarity. It is believed that mandalas have the power to transform negativity and awaken altruism and compassion in the viewer.  i learned that "the mandala is a profound, universal symbol that translates literally to 'center and its surroundings' and is a physical representation of our interdependence, or the notion that everything and everyone is interlinked."
    the vivid painted mandalas of tibet are the most widely known. there are only a few three-dimensional mandalas in the world, due in part to the large commitment of time and expertise needed to create them.

    coming off of a pretty gnarly week, this was a much needed treat.  blessings were abundant...i will certainly miss the lamas...

    a few words about the hammer...

    i've been here 3 times.  all three times have been for exhibits i wanted to see - the space is awesome...there is a wolf-gang run cafe inside that serves delicious food and a great pit stop for a good brew.

    $7 bucks for admission, $3 validated parking, thursdays are free and it's a fab place to get your art on...they've got some awesome exhibits showing right now...go make a trip...color your world.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    I went here last night to see a concert.
    The displays and paintings in the museum were pretty modernized. It was also a pretty good venue for bands. Staff were pretty friendly and helpful. There really isn't much to say but it was really entertaining if you're into art.

  • 4.0 star rating

    The Armand Hammer Museum is like the red-headed step child of all the museums this town has to offer. Coming up against the likes of MOCA, LACMA, and the Getty, not only does it rarely carry the big guns, it's located on the Westside which is *so* not hip to the museum culture. This is what gives the Hammer all its cool. Not only is it free, it just opened up a theater where David Lynch did a special showing for his newest flick. Try to catch THAT at LACMA (although LACMA does have cool events).

    I love the architecture of the museum and the fact that it holds a nice restaurant and indoor/outdoor seating where you can occasionally catch some pretty cool musical acts (and house music DJs if you're lucky).

  • 5.0 star rating

    Aaaccchh, God!!  If only I lived in Los Angeles instead of this cultural backwater, New York!

    I'd be able to visit the Hammer Museum on a regular basis!

    Anyway, at t least  when I lived in SoCal I had a chance to see their exhibition "Masters of American Comics"*  hammer.ucla.edu/exhibiti…  And don't forget their exhibition "Thing, New Sculptures from Los Angeles" hammer.ucla.edu/exhibiti…  and what about that time they set up Jean Prouve's Tropical House*  in their courtyard?  hammer.ucla.edu/exhibiti…

    Well, anyway, they've got a pretty spiffy web site where you can look at images from past shows, watch recorded lectures and readings, subscribe to their blog, and look at images of works in their permanent collection.

    Not too shabby.

    *Actually, I think these two shows traveled to New York (but I would have had to wait longer to see them. And I wouldn't have been able to work on my tan in New York, either).

  • 3.0 star rating

    Boring museum and exhibits, though they seem to have good events.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Randomly stumbled upon this museum on a saturday and to my pleasant surprise since I was a B of A customer, I didn't have to pay for admission that day.  Apparently they are part of this, Museums on Us program where the first weekend on every month if you are a B of A customer, you get in free.  On top of that, such a great museum.  The atmosphere plus the exhibits were quite amazing.  I shall definitely return, this ranks on the top of my museum list.

  • 3.0 star rating

    I was worried that I wouldn't have time to see the entire museum in an afternoon, but the collection isn't large and can be done in a few hours. The building is lovely. The exterior looks so solid, but then you enter an open court yard filled with trees the provide shade for the cafe's patrons.The gallery is upstairs and you buy an admission ticket from the cashier in the bookstore.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Sick people deserve to have fun too!

    OK just for the record, I'm not a psycho, i just have an annoying cough. I found this place after cruising around Westwood Village. The museum is surrounded by a huge atrium like courtyard. This museum features:  art, architecture, a modern garden, and music.

    I got to see John Lautner's architecture exhibit: Between Earth and Heaven. He was an architect for more than 55 years! [1911-1994] Growing up he was inspired by form and nature. He believed good architecture is impossible without a good builder and a great client. Each home was designed by the freedom of space.

    This was a remarkable exhibit. The museum showcased his work on 3' high construction blocks that were lighted from below, like light boxes. [neat idea]. I loved all his original construction drawings. His line weights were beautiful! Each side note and call-outs on the drawings were perfect. I admired all his exterior elevations and perspective drawings all done in pencil =) My favorites projects were: The Carling residence and The Harvey residence.

    Hammer museum also has an impressionists exhibit that featured artists such as: Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, and more. The bookstore was cute. It was filled with thousands of books that were organized by category: contemporary, fashion, neo-classical, design, foreign, etc.

    Parking is free only for three hours, only if you get it validated. I was 10 minutes late and had to pay $4.50 =/ The museum is free for students and $7 for others.

    I loved this museum, its unique and quiet. I'm so glad I got to see John Lautner's work. He is such an inspiration!

  • 4.0 star rating

    I love this museum.  They have some of the most interesting exhibits I've seen for a "large" museum versus a small art gallery where I tend to like the exhibitions more.

    I got a chance to preview the John Lautner exhibit (now open) and Sun Xun (current resident artist).  Both were wonderful in their own way.

    The museum gift shop had a large selection of books though not so large that it was overwhelming.  There was a whole bookshelf full of clearance books.  The children's section had a lot of fun stuffed animals.  I thought about buying some for the babies in my life but then realized how much their parents would hate me for adding yet another stuffie to their enormous collections.  

    Parking is underground.  Since the Hammer is part of a large office building, they ask you to park on levels 4 and 5.  The museum does validate.  It's $3 for the first three hours and then more afterwards.  Though it's a flat rate after 6 pm. and on weekends.  

    I saw admission is free on Thursdays which is cool because they have a lot of free programs like lectures and music shows those days (as well as during the other days of the week).

    I'm not sure who normally caters their food but we had Wolfgang Puck catering that day and surprisingly, it was a good set-up with really helpful service that provided great service.  Even to the point of pulling out chairs for the ladies and filling iced tea even though it was self-serve.

  • 1.0 star rating

    A friend shot me an email about "bike night" at the Hammer and since I have never been there and the event would be free I thought "cool"

    I went to the event and shortly after I was there I was asked to check my backpack. I was a bit bothered by this because the guy walked directly up to me passing others who had HUGE backpacks.

    "Sir we need you to check your backpack because this is a gallery" is what I was told by this security person. When he said this I simply looked around at all the other people with HUGE messenger bags, but I never saw him ask them to check their bags. Mine was small compared to others, so I was really bothered that I had been asked to check my bag.

    I said fine and he walked away, but not far. he stood close enough to see if I was going to check my bag. He never asked anyone else that I saw of. in fact this lady went over and asked him why they had no been asked and he told them they didnt have to check theirs.

    At that point I called my friends that were going to meet me there and told them what had just happened, they too had never been to the Hammer. They too were born and raised in Santa Monica just like me and they too were really bothered by what had taken place.

    When I mentioned to the people parking the bikes and even one of the  people for the event and part of the movie that was being shown, they acted as if i was wrong and should just relax and check my bag like a "good BOY". That too pissed me off.

    Not only will I never go back to the Hammer for any reason, but I know many of my friends will not either. What really adds insult to injury is the person from the Hammer I spoke to who also acted like nothing was wrong and acted like I was simply over reacting.

    "This is a museum sir with priceless art inside. We must take every precaution to make certain it is safe. I sure you understand this."

    I completely understand it and fully support it, however I do no understand being singled out, nor do I understand some people seem to think it was ok and I was the one at fault. The Hammer SUCKS just like UCLA.

  • 4.0 star rating

    I went many months ago. The museum is pretty cool. I don't know what sort of event they had going on, but there was a "dj" and the music was decent. There was an open bar thing going on as well, so of course I was ALL over it. There were lots of people that got drunk and were dancing badly. I loved it.

    The guy I went with spent a lot of time looking at everything and it was (mostly) very interesting exhibits. There was this one room with a bunch of crazy neon lights suspended in the middle of the room. I didn't particularly like that exhibit, but oh well, there was a lot more to look at. We went during the evening and the courtyard was beautiful. It was a great place to walk around, listen to music and drink. :)

    I would go back if a friend really wanted to go to a museum or something, but not often. I don't know the area too well, and I don't know if there are any stealth parking spots. Good thing I wasn't driving, cuz I would have been annoyed with the parking situation... it was definitely a pain! If I had driven tho, I would have pulled into a parking garage and paid. Meh.

    The museum itself tho, was lovely.

  • 5.0 star rating

    I LOVE you HAMMER!  If you're an Abstract Fan GO- and I mean today- to check out the Sardines And Oranges exhibit.  It is well curated and allow yourself to indulge for at least 2 hours if not 3!

    They also have great performances and events almost weekly (Shiny toy Guns played a year and half ago, David Lynch premiered his weird movie...so many great artists!!!).  I use to have an office a block away- now I have to drive all the way from the East side- but it's worth it!

    If your a student have your ID (it's free)- park in their structure off of Westwood Blvd- and when your done- grab some delicious coffee @ Peets 1/2 a block up the street.

    The cafe is fine for a snack but there's also a good pizza spot passed Peets....

  • 5.0 star rating

    I went to the Hammer Museum specifically to see architect John Lautner's exhibit (July 13-October 12, 2008) and highly recommend the exhibit and the museum.

    First, Lautner's exhibit featuring photos, slide shows, sketches and models of his many structures (homes, schools, Googie coffee shops) reminded me how much he's added to the landscape of Los Angeles. Even if you don't know or care about architecture, I just can't imagine walking away from seeing Lautner's innovative designs and not being inspired to create something, anything.  

    About the museum - it has a zen-like atmosphere with an open plaza surrounded by towering bamboo and uncluttered galleries.  In one gallery there's a collection of Van Gogh paintings, along with Rembrandt, Renoir, Sisley, Pissaro and more; it's a mix of impressionist landscapes and classic oil portraits.

    There were other exhibits and film viewings that I didn't see because I spent too much time in the museum bookstore. I could've spent days in that store, it was stocked with so many amazing art books.

  • 3.0 star rating

    I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed with the museum. Their traditional pieces consisting of Van Gogh, Cezanne and Monet and were lovely to see. However currently on display is " Made In LA" exhibit and it  was "just ok".  I was a bit disappointed with the overall feel of the exhibit. And to make matters worse, one of their "security" guards were unnecessarily rude  and sarcastic when we asked a general question about the museum. Maybe I just went on a bad day, but I don't know if I would consider going again.

  • 4.0 star rating

    free with student ID and the parking could be validated. They often host artist lectures and the tickets are free.

    Their store carry an array of books, I would even go just visit the bookstore if I lived closer.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Consistently great museum.  All shows are masterfully-curated with both familiar and obscure pieces and a generous amount of archival material.  Permanent collection is good, but uneven.

    The courtyard is a great place to relax and read with a cup of coffee.  Gets great early afternoon light.

    The bookstore has a wonderful selection of art books, fanciful children's books and toys, and a breathtaking jewelry selection that is regularly rotated.

    Three bucks to park - you can enter on Westwood or Glendon.  Free on Thursdays.  In the Summer they have a fun outdoor concert series, as well as film screenings - some of which have musical accompaniment.  When I lived in Westwood, the Hammer was like a home away from home.

  • 2.0 star rating

    Some of what I saw was ok, fairly standard.  Others, well, I wonder what passes for "art" these days.  Not that I am an art fanatic, not by a long shot.  If you're not a UCLA student or employee, or a veteran, then go on Thursdays when it's free admission, since I don't think it was really worth the $10 fee (it would've helped if all the galleries were open...).  Otherwise, your time and money will be better spent at the Getty or Norton Simon Museum.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Dear Hammer Museum, you have got to be the coolest local museum I have discovered to date! Admission is free for students and Thursdays are free for non students.  I loved the mix of traditional art (Van Gogh, Cassat etc) with modern art. Its truly a beautiful space and and amazing place to come, wind down or be inspired. They also offer happy hour in their gorgeous outdoor courtyard for those looking for a different scene.

  • 5.0 star rating

    First fell in love with the Hammer two or three years ago at a Stephen Shore exhibit.  The exhibits are consistently good - I'm excited to see the John Lautner exhibit.  

    Helpful tip:  If you go to an exhibit towards the end of the show, you can usually pick up the exhibit catalogues for half price.  I can't believe I just shared that with you.  oh well.  

    also, I like the little cafe cart in the courtyard for picking up a tasty, post-art sammich and espresso.

  • 4.0 star rating

    Saw the Now Dig This exhibition at the Hammer.  Interesting exhibition, well worth going to.  The Hammer seems to organize diverse events (Bloomsbury reading, book clubs, even election night parties).  Would love to make it to more events here.

  • 5.0 star rating

    This place shocks the mind. If you are from out of town you hear about the Hammer Museum UCLA and you imagine some Greek or Roman building on the fabled campus. You drive down Wilshire and you find out its in a stinking skyscraper!! Not only that, when you see the Oxy Petroleum logo on the outside, you realize that 'ol Armand Hammer (never one for corporate formalities) finagled a little chunk of "his" company's building for the museum.

    If you don't know about the validated parking, you park on the street a few blocks away and go in. Then, you see the open courtyard and open spaces inside the frikkin' building....Life is good if you were the link between communism and capitalism, making a giant fortune as a robber baron type....But, we all die.....but some get to leave a nice edifice, like Armand. But wait, there's more!

    This museum is alive, offering cool stuff that few others will. Until June, they have the Kara Walker exhibit. She examines the perverse fascination/repulsion that black and white America have for each other, both in the past, and today.

    How appropriate that in Los Angeles, where, to the outsider, the rise of the Asian and Hispanic populations makes this black/white issue seem almost quaint, the Walker exhibit opens its doors and turns on its overhead projector.

    If you can, go see it....Even if Los Angeles is the future- Obama, McCain and Clinton show us all the the vision of Kara Walker is still at least part of the present in America.

  • 5.0 star rating

    This museum is great.
    I have a love for indie-type art that's out of the ordinary, as well as films. This is the perfect place for me. I usually find myself staring at one of the works or sitting on a makeshift couch while watching a video of a man pushing a cube of ice through the streets until it melts, as if in a trance, until whoever is accompanying me pesters me to carry on to the next exhibit.
    I love this place, and luckily for me, as a student I get free admission.
    I definitely reccomend you to drop by and visit, you'll fall in love.

  • 5.0 star rating

    there isnt any museum better than the hammer in los angeles!  if you didnt know...now you know :D

  • 4.0 star rating

    Great facility, lots of variety among the different exhibits and they were all interesting in their own way. Staff was very helpful and courteous through, eager to offer supplementary info about the exhibits. i have one minor gripe; the staff offered a tour of the exhibits around 6:15, asking that those interested meet in front of the bookstore on the top floor. Thing is i'd just walked through the entire museum to reach the bookstore, so it kinda rendered the tour moot. The place seems to have alot going on though, theater showings, poetry readings, etc. More than enough to make it a frequent fixture on your social calendar.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Nice contemporary art museum. I had gone mainly to see the Jonathan Gold and Bret Easton Ellis conversation that was happening in the Billy Wilder theater, which was free. So I decided to make a day of it and actually see the exhibits. It is your typical contemporary art fair that ranges from the innovative to the trite. Nonetheless, as an art person I really enjoyed it. It also seems that they have a variety of other events that range to the art and intellectual happenings. Can't wait to come back.