Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin announced today that the ambitious multi‑year project to renovate, expand, and transform the Los Angeles institution has taken a major step forward with the public launch of a $180 million capital campaign. The announcement coincides with a lead gift of $30 million from L.A. philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick—the largest in the museum’s history. In recognition of this generous gift, the Hammer’s building will be dedicated as the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Cultural Center.
“Art has long inspired Stewart and me in a profound and meaningful way,” said Lynda Resnick. “For decades, we’ve been committed to Los Angeles’s dynamic arts and culture scene, and are proud to witness its growth into a nationally recognized epicenter for cutting-edge talent. As longtime admirers of director Ann Philbin’s vision and of the Hammer’s role in this meteoric rise, we’re gratified to be part of this transformative gift that will further solidify the institution’s key role in our community.”
The transformation project is helmed by renowned architect Michael Maltzan, a longtime partner in enhancing the museum’s facility. Starting with the renovation of the museum’s exhibition galleries in 2017, the current project will continue in phases through 2020, culminating with a dramatic new presence for the museum on Wilshire Boulevard. The museum will remain free and open to the public throughout construction. Total project costs are estimated at $80 million, and the Hammer plans to raise an additional $100 million to expand its endowment and support its acclaimed programs and exhibitions. To date, the campaign has raised more than $130 million.
“We are elated by the swift progress of the campaign and grateful for the tremendous generosity of our donors,” said Ann Philbin. “With their remarkable lead gift, Lynda and Stewart Resnick have demonstrated their commitment to our vision for the future, and to the continued vitality not just of the Hammer but of the arts in Los Angeles. When completed, this project will allow us to exhibit more of our fast-growing collection, to showcase more artists who are pushing the boundaries of the field, and to make the Hammer an even more vibrant hub for contemporary culture.”
The Hammer’s campaign was initiated by a generous inaugural gift of $20 million from trailblazing television producer Marcy Carsey, who has served as Hammer Museum board chair since 2014. Other major support has come from the museum’s Board of Directors and Board of Overseers, as well as other generous families and foundations in Los Angeles.
“No one combines brains, heart, and soul like the Hammer,” said Marcy Carsey. “We need arts institutions that are also awake to social, political, and economic injustice, and that empower all of us to engage meaningfully with our communities. Under Annie’s leadership, the Hammer has shown how to do this in a truly powerful way. I’m thrilled that this campaign has inspired such generosity from the Resnicks and so many others.”
Over the past two decades, the Hammer has become a thriving home for contemporary art and culture in Los Angeles, welcoming visitors from across the city and around the globe. Spurred by the need to address an expanding collection, a fivefold growth in attendance during Philbin’s tenure, and an increasingly robust schedule of free public programs, the building project will add significant capacity to serve the museum’s audiences.
Speaking of the Hammer’s close ties to UCLA, Chancellor Gene Block said, “Like UCLA, the Hammer is based on the belief that ideas and imagination enable us to become our best selves and change the world. Within the museum field, it stands apart in its courageous exploration of the most important issues of our time. I am deeply grateful to Lynda and Stewart Resnick for their extraordinary gift, which will sustain this work for generations to come.”
The Hammer’s building project will add 40,000 square feet of new space for the collection, exhibitions, and public programs; create 60 percent more gallery space and 20,000 square feet of enhanced public space; and establish a visible new presence along Wilshire Boulevard with a new corner entrance, a sculpture terrace at Glendon Avenue, and a large-scale exhibition gallery on the site currently occupied by a branch of City National Bank.
Construction to date includes the 2017 renovation of the museum’s third-floor exhibition spaces, now featuring a 10,000-square-foot contiguous gallery that accommodates major traveling exhibitions. Work is currently under way to transform the courtyard-level performance space and create a dedicated gallery for new media art. Both spaces will open in June with the biennial Made in L.A. 2018, along with a redesigned café, new restaurant partner, and full bar. Later this year, the Hammer will begin work to convert the grand terrace above Lindbrook Drive into a year-round space for education, installations, and events. Final construction phases, slated for 2019 and 2020, will add new galleries for large-scale exhibitions, works on paper, and the renowned Hammer Projects series, and will introduce a reconfigured and more welcoming public entrance and lobby.
ABOUT LYNDA AND STEWART RESNICK
Lynda and Stewart Resnick are co-owners of The Wonderful Company, a privately held $4 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world through its iconic consumer brands, which include Wonderful Pistachios®, Wonderful® Halos®, POM Wonderful, FIJI® Water, JUSTIN® Wine, and Teleflora®. The Resnicks have a long-standing commitment to giving back. Their philanthropy includes historic gifts to local institutions including UCLA, LACMA, and Caltech, and a transformational effort in California’s Central Valley where they support paradigm-changing work in community engagement, health and wellness, and education.
ABOUT MARCY CARSEY
Marcy Carsey was a partner with Tom Werner in The Carsey-Werner Company, the television production company responsible for “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “That 70’s Show,” and “Grounded for Life.” In addition to being inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Broadcasting and Cable Magazine’s Hall of Fame, the Carsey-Werner producing team has received numerous awards including the Emmy, the Humanitas Prize, The Peabody Award, The People’s Choice Award, The Golden Globe, and The NAACP Image Award. Ms. Carsey retired from television in 2007 and now devotes her energies to public education, social justice causes, and enjoying her big, raucous family.