An Avocation That Became A Legacy California's New Armand Hammer Museum Ensures That the Late Industrialist's Art Collection Will Have a Lasting - If Controversial - Home

By Daniel B. Wood, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 18, 1990 | Go to article overview

An Avocation That Became A Legacy California's New Armand Hammer Museum Ensures That the Late Industrialist's Art Collection Will Have a Lasting - If Controversial - Home


Daniel B. Wood, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


THE Armand Hammer Museum and Cultural Center was Armand Hammer's final dream. The billionaire industrialist's last public appearances were in celebration of the horizontally striped marble building that now houses his $450-million art collection.

Formally unveiled Nov. 28, just two weeks before Hammer's death on Dec. 10, the structure ensures that his lifelong avocation as a collector - in which he amassed over 100 European masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, and others in five decades of globe-trotting - will be his most enduring legacy.

Like the career of Hammer himself, the new museum is steeped in controversy. Born out of conflict when Hammer reneged on a promise to give his collections to the county, the museum has risen on the site of a former gas station behind his Occidental Petroleum headquarters in Westwood. Local press coverage has been scathing. The Los Angeles Times, for instance, complained that the museum is "an almost pure embodiment of the modern corporate use of art as a tool for public relations." Officials for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) won't talk about the new museum. And more than a few curators, historians, dealers, and collectors have been crying "vanity!" But the public and most of the growing arts community here seem to be embracing the new cultural icon. "It's absolutely fabulous that Dr. Hammer decided to make his presence here in the bastion of movie theaters and (University of California, Los Angeles) students," says Sylvia White, CEO of Contemporary Artists' Services. Ms. White says she moved her business two blocks away from the Hammer instead of to the more artsy Santa Monica area. She expected the museum would attract a steady flow of art lovers. "The Hammer brings more competitive spirit to the arts community while still complementing the collections of J. Paul Getty and Norton Simon museums," says Robert Metzger, director of the University Gallery at Bucknell University. Geographically, the Hammer is situated between the Getty Museum in Malibu and Simon Museum in Pasadena, adding a convenient stepping stone of culture to LACMA at mid-town and the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown.

The unveiling here is threefold:

The 79,000-sq.-ft. building: It includes study centers, a library, administrative offices, book and gift shops, a 250-seat auditorium (as yet unfinished), and a restaurant (still to be built). A landscaped and cloistered courtyard encompasses an additional 7,800 square feet intended for use in entertainment and key social gatherings.

A permanent collection, in three parts: more than 100 paintings and works on paper featuring European and American artists from the 16th to 20th centuries; more than 10,000 paintings, sculptures, and lithographs by 19th-century French realist and satirist Honore Daumier; and the Leonardo da Vinci Codex, a scientific manuscript with 360 drawings illustrating the artist's theories. The inaugural exhibition: A traveling show of 170 works by Russian avante-garde artist Kazimir Malevich, father of Suprematism and a major force in modern art. Press comment on the building and permanent collection have been mixed. Only the Malevich exhibition has received nearly universal raves. "It's a triumphant exhibition to launch a new museum," says Robert McDonald, a museum director in Santa Clara and a former art critic. The rural-born Malevich (1878-1935) was regarded as the theoretical godfather of the Russian avante garde. Empowered by the post-revolutionary Bolsheviks to create a comparable revolution in art, Malevich's brilliant polychromed abstractions made their greatest impact just before the state adopted Socialist Realism as its officially sanctioned style for art in 1934. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Avocation That Became A Legacy California's New Armand Hammer Museum Ensures That the Late Industrialist's Art Collection Will Have a Lasting - If Controversial - Home
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.