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Recommended Reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating

    Frequented the Hammer more when I was a UCLA student but I've been going lately for the screenings. They play some great independent shorts here with a trendy crowd that stays to chat when the movies end.

    I recommend getting a membership so you can be sure to get into the first screening room. The second and third rooms show projections of the projection in the first room, so the sound/image quality is horrible.

  • 4.0 star rating

    This review is for the Hammer Museum CAFE. I visited the Hammer Museum Cafe last Sunday through the recommendation of my roommate. I had a great experience there. The parking was $4 w/validation and very easy to find. Maybe b/c it was a Sunday afternoon, it was not busy at all and the cafe area was very quiet. It sits in their outdoor courtyard with artwork surrounding you as you eat. They run $5 lunch specials that are pretty decent in size. I got their BBQ chicken pizza and it was a very good size for the price. I also got their gazpacho soup (YUM) for $4.50. There was only one waitress working so the service was a little on the slow side, but it was such a warm day and the environment was so relaxing that it didn't really matter. She accidentally charged us for 2 soups instead of 1 so she gave us a dessert on the house! Sweet (literally)! I would definitely go back.

  • 4.0 star rating
    Listed in Museums

    The Hammer Museum should make any UCLA student happy. Not only is it within walking distance of the campus, but it's also free for students. Sometimes I'll go here just because I'm walking by. The staff is extremely nice and will point out new exhibits with gusto. Make sure you check in your bag at the front.

    Sure, it's small but it has some lesser known works by several famous 19th century artists which I feel are just as beautiful as their well-known counterparts. Of note are several etchings by the famous political cartoonist Honore Daumier, some Monet, Cassatt, Pissarro, and Van Gogh works.

  • 4.0 star rating

    This place is actually owned by a kids dad I knew in high school. Crazy. Besides that, this place is really pretty, it has a nice little courtyard with bamboo and such, and they have interesting exhibits sometimes. I went here with my Art class last semester for this African American artist who was just really crazy and amazing. And Ive heard they do have screenings too. Ive never been, but I definitely will check it out.

  • 4.0 star rating

    The Hammer is truly a something-for-everyone museum.  

    Their permanent collection is not as vast as you'll find elsewhere, seeming more like a Whitman's sampler of legendary artists.  Contemporary works (including video, which you don't encounter often in museums) are as on-the-edge as you can imagine, and the curators play no favorites there.

    Worth the visit.

  • 5.0 star rating

    One word - penises. I have never been to a museum where they were so many phallic symbols.  

    Aside from that little thought, Song Kun has an amazing exhibit going on in the lobby level of the museum. All her oil paintings are small but captivating. The paintings are arranged in a sequence and showcase her daily life. It was pretty awesome. I didn't know you couldn't take pictures until the security guard told me so.

    Eden's Edge exhibit is on this month and it is an "exploration of art made in LA for the past decade" from 15 artists. I personally loved how the entire layout was arranged. First we go in and see this ridiculous work from Lari Pittman. It's like visual orgasm. The colors, the craziness, you have to check this one out. As you walk from room to room, you experience something new. Each artist evokes a different emotion. There was such a good contrast of different mediums that it holds your attention throughout. There were acrylic paintings to beer can sculptures to fluorescent lights hangings. Some of the work makes you go "WTF" but it's awesome all the same. I did notice a very sexual/phallic undertone from ALL the artists. Weird. Maybe us LA folks are just weird like that. Maybe I got a dirty mind. Who knows...

    If you have time, make sure you sit in the video room and watch the short films that are being featured. It's a small room with maybe 6-7 chairs - very laid back and not pretentious at all.

    Parking is $3. Admission is free till September but regular admission is only $5 anyways.

  • 5.0 star rating

    The Hammer is the the Jan Brady of art museums in Los Angeles while the Getty, LACMA, and MOCA are the Marcias.  It's unfortunate because Jan has SO much to offer:  from the beautiful courtyard, the edgiest exhibitions (great up-to-the-last second modern art), minimalist architecture, and brillant guest lecturers and cocktail events, this place is a veritable goldmine!  AND the Hammer doesn't even have to wear her glasses for the family portrait..she's THAT cool.  

    Remember, these days (although I am still a little bit of a New Yorker at heart), Los Angeles (especially UCLA's grad school) has some of the most promising future art stars...making the Hammer fertile ground for great exhibits.  Their lecture/"conversations" are very New York and they get some great artists/scholars/interesting people to come talk.  And if you're not so much into the art, they do great summer evening gigs with cocktails and music (great indie bands, they had the Silversun Pickups early last summer, por ejemplo).  

    This Jan doesn't need a George Glass to make her cool.

  • 4.0 star rating

    Nice museum! The exhibits there were laid out very nicely. I was quite impressed with the Kara Walker exhibit. It was very involving. They make excellent use of what seems like very little space. The facility is well-kept. Not mind-blowing or huge, but a damn respectable little art-hole.

    They often have exhibits that sound very interesting to me, but I rarely go because I'm lazy. But after going to this latest exhibit, I feel glad I finally got off my butt and went.

    They have a really impressive bookshop too. Not that I buy art books. Nor do I condone buying art books due to their hyper-expensive nature and large white, unused areas on the pages. (What's that all about?) All the more reason that the bookshops are important to me! I need to be able to look at art in book format without purchasing said books. It's like a little library. It's one of the more comprehensive bookstores I've seen at a museum. Why am I still talking about this?

    It's a nice museum. They tend to have interesting art that I don't see at other museums in LA. That's all you need to know.

    Check it out. What have you got to lose? Five bucks. But I'll let you decide how important five bucks is to you.

    FYI, you can get into the bookstore without paying the five bucks.
    ...just sayin'.

  • 5.0 star rating

    This place definitely holds it down for the Westside of Los Angeles regarding Contemporary Art, lectures, film screenings, and other events. The current exhibit that they feature is Nine Lives, and I would highly recommend  going to view this show. I also went to one of the lectures that accompany this exhibit by of one its featured artists Jeffrey Valance, and found this to be very  beneficial to get more of a feel for Mr. Valance's work. I feel the administration  has done a very good with the educational program and lecture series they've designed for the museum. The diversity they provide for the events is really impressive, ranging from a talk by Hassleblad Award wining photographer Sebastiáo Salgado, to a screening 80's cult bike movie Breaking Away and bike night for the gearhead urban hipsters.

  • 5.0 star rating

    The Hammer Museum is one of the best museums in LA and of all the times I've gone, the diversity of exhibits always seem to amaze me.

    As a student at UCLA a long time ago, I appreciate that this museum is free to UCLA students, but also free to the public on Thursdays.
    If you are visiting LA and get tired of shopping in Westwood come check out this museum.

    The exhibit I really enjoyed this time around was "It is what it is: Conversations about Iraq,." by British artist Jermey Deller.   This is a must see and participate!  Each day at certain hours they have guest speakers who are involved in the projects to speak about Iraq and their experiences.  The participants are Iraqis who are knowledgeable in certain regions in Iraq or have first hand experience in Iraq from journalists, scholars, business, and war vets.  At the time I was there I spoke to an Iraqi American sports agent and had one of the best conversations about the history of Iraq, how the new government is progressing, and other topics.  Unfortunately I missed out on talking to the Iraqi vet due to my short visit in LA.  I also enjoyed the Urban China exhibit, China's only magazine devoted to urbanism.  The Nine Lives exhibit featuring some of LA's most controversial artists was pretty intense for me even hought they did put a notice prior to entering the exhibit a warning about some of the adult material that may not be suitable to certain audiences.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Hammer Museum has a lot of free or really inexpensive events and art galleries.  Free Table Tennis, a nice little cafe, theatre and is located in Westwood.  The annual Bike Event they have is really fun with free food.  I like the Hammer Museum!

  • 5.0 star rating

    We worked up a sweat playing table tennis for an hour at the Hammer Museum. Good times.

  • 5.0 star rating
    Listed in Visual Arts..

    Free w/ student ID, inexpensive admission, our parking was 3$, peaceful courtyard, food carts, laid back feel, small-clean exhibits.

  • 4.0 star rating

    Been meaning to stroll about this place, pondering about what might be hung on the walls (or shown in the theater or discussed at the lectures), but came here to bide time in an indoor (warmer) setting with a visiting friend for a rough visit.

    The structure of the place itself is a bit compartmentalized. And spacey, as in having discrete quantities of unfilled space. There's a middle outdoor atrium, but then upstairs, each gallery and exhibit  grants you entry only upon pushing through a set of double doors. That said, I still do like the space. Like studio space.

  • 4.0 star rating
    Listed in Museums

    I took this art history course at USC that I liked more than others to this day. The professor made us see an exhibit on a more obscure artist named Lee Bontecou. I liked the exhibit a lot and remember the artist's work very well. The gallery is on the small side, but it's charming.

  • 5.0 star rating

    This place is really great to kill an afternoon, especially if you're a student (you get in free with your student ID on Tuesdays I think). Have a nice set of permanent exhibits, and generally have interesting temporary exhibits as well. Nice store to do some shopping for something different as well. They also frequently have lectures, talks and events for free, so it's a great way to soak in some culture nearby.

  • 3.0 star rating

    I wasn't as impressed with the Hammer Museum as I have been at others in the area.  Today when I visited, new exhibitions were being installed, and it felt as if there was really only 1 or 2 exhibitions at the entire gallery...did I miss something?  I did love the huge selection of items and art books at the gift shop (which is also the main entrance...it took me a while to figure that out), and the cafe seemed ok.  Otherwise, I just didn't quite get it.  Maybe next time will be better.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Get an artists perspective on L.A by going to Hammer's current exhibition "Eden's Edge", it features the work of fifteen LA Artists. One of my favorite pieces is a bronze sculpture of a skeleton on a motorcycle by Liz Craft titled "Death Rider".
    Free Summer at the Hammer Museum
    Free admission to all exhibitions, collections, and public programs through September 2, 2007 and always free to Museum members, students with ID, UCLA faculty and staff, and visitors 17 and under and for the rest of you Free on Thursdays. What is it with Museums always being free on Thursday???

  • 5.0 star rating
    Listed in Westwood

    A small, but very well thought museum. The permanent collection varies and it is all over the place, as Los Angeles. But it hosts very good exhibits and Thursdays it is free! Probably my favorite spot in Westwood village.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Love it here - they offer yummy Clementine's for lunch, and it's a nice atmosphere just to sit and relax... I come here a lot with friends, and it's a nice break in the day.   Try the chocolate chip cookies or brownies from Clementine's at the Hammer... so good!

    *Edit - Turns out they no longer serve Clementine's here... that's too bad.  The courtyard is still accessible during lunch though.

  • 4.0 star rating

    This review is only for the "Also I Like to Rock" event and not for the museum itself which I didn't get to check out (though I'd like to at some point).
    sea wolf and midnight movies were the bands performing.  while i enjoyed midnight movies stirring instrumentals, i found the vocals to be rather monotone and flat and bland.  i was waiting for her to explode or come alive or something.  but no...

    the show was held in a lovely outdoor courtyard with the usual mix of hipsters, hs/college kids, parents, etc.

  • 5.0 star rating
    ROTD 7/24/2006 First to Review

    I love the Hammer Museum.  As great as it is to go to the Getty Center and enjoy the physical splendor, I think the actual exhibits and the programs are much more to my liking at the Hammer.  In the last year, The Hammer has had a great show of contemporary LA art, a program focusing on the history and current state of "pre-fab" housing, and an amazing exhibit co-sponsored by MOCA about comics.  Their public programs are routinely diverse and interesting (and free!) with visits from the likes of Robert Wilson, Michael Franti, Joan Dideon, and many others.  In the summer, they have an incredible rock and blues music series as well as a program of Sundance Film Festival shorts all of which happens in their comfortable outdoor courtyard (and it's also free!).  And last, but not least, the "Hammer Bash" parties are legendary, fun, and generally awesome.

    The Hammer is one of the better things about living in LA.

  • 3.0 star rating

    Lovely airy space, small collection of impressionist( but perhaps decent by W Coast standards). Great for a date as you can then proceed to the many coffee shops near by to continue your intense art crtique.

    The new collection by Cermin- UCLA alum who was one of the few females in the pop art generation is really good. Sea scapes, moonscapes, all sketched out take on a very interesting texture and mood. The object and the paper. LOVELY!

  • 2.0 star rating

    I give this two stars because the museum itself is sub par when you compare it to most of the other museums in the LA area.  The artwork that calls the Hammer home is boring at best.

    Now I must say, there are some Incredible exhibits that come to this museum and when that occurs, you should make it a point to come down.  There is nothing wrong with the facilities, so when the quality of pieces is improved this place can deserve a rating of 3-4 stars.  

    I just say two stars because I wouldn't go to this museum just to go to this museum.

  • 5.0 star rating

    The Hammer Museum's current Kara Walker exhibit should not be missed!  Also, check out the Hammer's incredible library of video art and transport yourself back to the seventies by screening classics from Eleanor Antin, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Bruce Nauman, and John Baldessari (for free!) in their private screening room.

  • 4.0 star rating
    Listed in Culture Vultures

    Hammer Projects are usually cool.  I wish the Lautner tours are open to non-members ($145?!).  I think Hammer is the place to see drawings or lithoraphs.  The collection of prints and works on paper is world-class.  The permanent collection consists is a well curated show of impressionists, old masters, and post-impressionists.

  • 1.0 star rating

    Interesting what happens when a Hammer opens up trade with USSR-that's right Soviet Russia and all the riches that bicarbonate * of PETRO will buy and clean up with the stuff of his psyche.

    Not really the collection I peruse too closely. Prefer Norton Simon Collection in Pasadena. (Especially the Indian section with a view of the pond and garden!)
    :-  ~~~~

    (This is especially for James T. so he acquires a sense of The Onion style to remember the reference to this museum:
    John Dwight and his brother-in-law, Dr. Church, started the manufacture of bicarbonate of soda in this country in 1846. The first factory was in the kitchen of his home with baking soda put in paper bags by hand. (Today, the absolutely pure bicarbonate of soda is processed and packed by highly specialized modern machinery and reaches the consumer never having been touched by human hands.)

    A year later, in 1847, the firm of John Dwight and Company was formed, and subsequently Cow Brand was adopted as a trademark for Dwight's Saleratus (aerated salt) as it was called. The standard package at that time weighed one pound. The cow was adopted as a trademark because of the use of sour milk with saleratus in baking.

    Based on its popularity, Dr. Church felt there was a larger need for saleratus of baking soda, a need that justified the development of larger production facilities. He formed a partnership known as Church & Company, doing business under that firm name with his sons James A. Church and E. Dwight Church. He used the ARM & HAMMER brand as his trademark to identify the baking soda manufactured by Church & Co.

    In 1896, the descendants of the founders of these two firms consolidated their interests under the name of Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

    Today the use of bicarbonate of soda is no longer confined to the kitchen. It is used throughout the house, in every phase of housekeeping and personal hygiene. ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda, which was first prepared in a New England village, now it is used the world over.)

    Reduced from three stars to ONE star in order to explain the verbage.

    LA LA LA LA LA  HAMMER Time...can't catch this...later ...holla...

  • 4.0 star rating

    Cool location if you want to explore Westwood a little.  Always free on Thursdays, so gotta like that, and everyone has always been friendly.  Hard to say how it stacks up against other Museums, but I've seen some interesting exhibits there.

  • 5.0 star rating
    Listed in Culture

    Seen the gamut of artistic presentations here for very cheap or free: always superb exhibits up in the galleries (they also have smaller gallery spaces for lesser-known, but nonetheless great, boundary-pushing artists, including video artists). There's also a "hidden," large-ish space downstairs where I once attended a conference that was the perfect mix of academics and artists. And don't forget the Billy Wilder theater: been there for a film screening and panel discussion, and recently, for Peggy Shaw's "Menopausal Gentleman"--kick-ass dyke performance art. But as my buddy noted, they could do more with the courtyard: it's a little under-utilized and not very inviting. Remember to check out their bookstore, which is extremely comprehensive--art books ranging from graffitti art to photography to critical theory as well as non-book-related, but arty gifts.

  • 5.0 star rating

    a trip to westwood is never complete without a visit to the hammer. the beautifully lit, maze-like main gallery is one of the most pristine spaces to showcase artwork that i've seen. their exhibitions generally feel very current. in the summer, they have great music events in the courtyard, which itself is a very pleasant space. still my favorite contemporary art museum.

  • 5.0 star rating
    3 check-ins

    probably my favorite space in the world

  • 4.0 star rating

    i like the hammer museum cuz it's not a huge place for you to be overwhelmed like the getty or lacma. it's just right & you can park on the street in westwood.

  • 5.0 star rating

    I love me some Hammer Museum. The Hammer Reading series is what does it for me--many wonderful contemporary fiction writers and poets come to the museum on a monthly basis to read their work and even occasionally take questions from the audience. As a winner of poetry prizes from UCLA (which co-owns and co-programs the museum) I've read twice at the museum and found it to be exhiliarating. But this is an art museum too, and the Hammer always has a plethora of wonderful exhibits and installations. Recent ones that come to mind are a feature on Windsor McCay and George Herriman, a series of Cara Walker silhouettes deconstructing race and slavery, and a photo history of Venice, among many, MANY other wonderful exhibits. The Hammer bookstore is always full of interesting books, generally architecture and art related. Films, classic and contemporary are often shown at the Bill Wilder Theater. I am a big fan. Come and take a walk around and check out the place.

  • 4.0 star rating

    This review is for the Hammer Museum Cafe, not the actual Museum. I went there yesterday for happy hour in their courtyard and it was fantastic. The space is very pretty with trees and the table and chair set up is really adorable. I had the tomato, burrata and arugula salad, and not only was it delicious, but it was only $5! My BF got the slider for only $2 and said it was equally as tasty. They also have a unique beer and wine list with prices ranging from $5 to $7. My only complaint is that apparently not too many people know about this little find because there were only two other groups of people there, but hopefully that will change soon!!!

  • 5.0 star rating

    Danger Mouse was there last Monday Night, June 12, 2006 as part of a series to get young people back into stoggy musuems that inspire IKEA. Danger Mouse collaborated with Cee-Lo to release the album St. Elsewhere under the name Gnarls Barkley. The event was part of the 12th year of Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival

  • 5.0 star rating

    Unique, pleasant. Great taste in exhibits. Plus, you are in Westwood, where you can walk around, go to UCLA. Something you gotta go see. Check out what's goin' on. They always have something good. Look it, we don't have all that many good museums. This is a keeper.

  • 4.0 star rating

    great museum!!

    the hammer conversation series is wonderful. i missed the last one, but the conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans was interesting.

  • 5.0 star rating

    A first-class spot, and always worth going to. Great exhibits, a fabulous permanent collection, wonderful lectures, and a top notch bookshop. Just saw a great show on early comic illustrators (surprisingly interesting and beautiful stuff) and some thoughtful videos by a young turkish artist. Then I spent about an hour looking through the amazing kids' books selection in the bookshop.

  • 5.0 star rating

    I hear they have a great director of public programs who enjoys online gaming.  Come here to check out some cool exhibits of cultural importance!

  • 5.0 star rating

    I love the Hammer on Thursday nights.  It's free and open until 9pm.  The free summer concert series is great too.  The permanent collection is kind of crappy, but the changing exhibits are always great.  I was blown away by the Charles Burchfield exhibit that is on display right now.  How could I not have heard of him before?  He made these really cool nature and landscape paintings in the first half of the twentieth century.  They're really unlike anything I've ever seen before.  I actually went here to see the R Crumb exhibit, which turned out to be really lame.  They just took pages from his most recent book, framed them and hung them on the wall.  Why would I want to stand up to read his book when I could just sit down with the actual book in my hands and accomplish the same task?  This was by far the lamest musuem exhibit I have ever seen.  I've been to the Hammer probably fifteen times and this is the only exhibit that really sucked.