Highlights from the Hammer Museum Gala - Living Strong Television Network

On Saturday, the Hammer Museum hosted its annual Gala in the Garden. This year, however, honored director Ann Philbin who is set to retire after 25 years at the helm.

Under her direction, the university art museum affiliated with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has transformed into a contemporary art destination, with quadrupled attendance, an expanded collection and facilities, and a biennial, along with a stacked advisory board of collectors and artists alike. Philbin has created a robust program with lasting impact during her tenure, which was made evident by attendees at the event.

Outside was a different scene, however, with a faculty protest calling for amnesty for UCLA students arrested in a police sweep of pro-Palestine encampments on campus and for the removal of the university’s chancellor Gene Block, who was not at the event.

Among the 700 guests, there were a number of notable attendees at the gala including artists Charles Gaines, Mary Weatherford, and Andrea Bowers; museum leaders Thelma Golden, Michael Govan, and Connie Butler; and A-list celebrities Jane Fonda, Keanu Reeves, and Will Ferrell.

The protests were acknowledged at the top of the night by Jodie Foster and wife Alexandra Hedison in the opening speech. The challenges associated with leading a museum were acknowledged in speeches throughout the evening. Robert Gober, for instance, talked of Philbin’s history with AIDs activism during her time at the Drawing Center in New York.

In her own address, Philbin mentioned “the violent clashes on the campus of UCLA”, while pointing to the museum’s position as a place for “dialogue around some of the most fractious and difficult subjects of our time.”

The gala grossed its largest return yet with $2.5 million.

Optimized with PageSpeed Ninja

Protected by Security by CleanTalk