Hammer Museum

Los Angeles, CA 90024




May 01, 2024

Full time / $500,000-$750,000 annually / Hammer Museum / Los Angeles, CA

Job Title: Director of the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center
Payroll Title: Academic Administrator VII
Appointment: 100%

The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center (The Hammer), affiliated with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) a preeminent global public research university, opened to the public in November of 1990. Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer, former Chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, the Hammer was built adjacent to the Corporation’s international headquarters in Los Angeles’ Westwood neighborhood. Though a separate 501 ©(3), the Hammer has been affiliated with UCLA for over three decades; it is one of three public arts institutions of the School of the Arts and Architecture.

The Hammer has transformed the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, becoming an indispensable pillar of Los Angeles’ art scene, embracing connection through its public programs as much as through its exhibitions and serving as a platform for emerging artists with an emphasis on social justice. The Hammer has a robust schedule of over 20 exhibitions annually. In 2012, the Hammer inaugurated the first biennial exhibition in Los Angeles, Made in L.A. Now in its fifth iteration, the exhibit celebrates emerging and under-recognized artists from Los Angeles with practices in an array of mediums, commissioning work that celebrates the city’s signature decentralized diversity. In addition to these exhibitions, the Hammer hosts over 300 programs annually that focus on a range of topics including art, politics, history, activism, the environment, as well as music and film, offering multiple opportunities for encouraging engagement, in and discourse.

The Hammer possesses world-class art holdings, including the growing Hammer Contemporary Collection, currently over 3,000 objects in all media, with strengths in works on paper and works by Southern California artists. Another growing collection is the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts which comprises over 45,000 works on paper from the Renaissance to the present. The Hammer also has permanent collection galleries devoted to the Armand Hammer Collection and oversees the Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer has a staff of 105, including approximately 150 student employees, most of whom attend UCLA. The Hammer’s staff is lean, highly capable, and indispensable to its mission.

The Board of Directors currently consists of 21 individuals with a spectrum of experience, including UCLA’s Chancellor and other senior administrators, as well as artists, collectors, and business and civic leaders. A national 37-member Board of Advisors supports the acquisition and collection related affairs of the museum. The Hammer’s annual operating budget is approximately $29M, and its endowment is approximately $125M. A majority of the Hammer’s annual budget comes from fundraising, which is bolstered by generous major gifts, multi-level membership and donor groups, and institutional support. The remainder of the budget is funded by an endowment draw, an annual contribution from UCLA, an annual Gala, and various earned revenue sources.

In 1994, the Hammer signed a 99-year rent-free operating agreement with the Regents of the University of California to manage the Museum. The Museum pays its own operating expenses. The Hammer Director reports to the Dean of the School of Arts and Architecture in collaboration with the Board; the relationship between UCLA and the Hammer has been harmonious and mutually beneficial.

Roles and Responsibility

• Build upon the Hammer’s international reputation as a fresh, innovative, world-class, progressive, cultural destination virtually and in -person.
• As chief executive, manage the day-to-day operations of the Museum.
• Ensure a compelling program that defies art world homogeneity.
• Engage and diversify audiences. Articulate the Hammer’s position in the Los Angeles art community and its mission of building a more just world through art.
• Work effectively and strategically with the Board of Directors and the development team to expand fundraising and friendraising; cultivate new and deepened donor relationships to facilitate financial sustainability, ongoing excellence, and growth.
• Recruit and diversify the Board.
• Advance diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion efforts internally and externally.
• Support and strengthen critical relationships across the Hammer, UCLA, regionally, and internationally.
• Leverage the assets, resources, and interdisciplinary expertise across UCLA for the mutual benefit of the Hammer and the greater university community.
• Commit to and support a healthy workplace environment and examine what drives staff satisfaction. Consider systems and infrastructure that will keep the Hammer proactive and responsive, but also sustainable.
• Foster a welcoming culture and ethos where guests want to visit, staff want to work, and the creative community will support.


• Personal integrity and intellectual independence. Passionate about art and ideas with a clear sense of direction.
• Institutional experience in a leadership capacity, including knowledge of museum best practices, educational and outreach programs, collections development, and governance structures.
• Emotionally secure and confident. Curious, creative, inclusive, engaged, connected, disruptive, supportive, empathetic, decisive.
• Able to provide vision and a clear strategic direction separate from the predecessor’s yet that builds upon her rather notable success. Capable of defining, communicating, and executing clear priorities without succumbing to bureaucratic muddle.
• Proven financial acumen; ability to manage large and complex budgets.
• Demonstrated record of success in fundraising and broad audience engagement.
• Significant background and experience creating and managing curatorial programs, major scholarly exhibitions, and publications; an advanced degree in an appropriate academic discipline or equivalent knowledge and experience.
• Ability to work productively with staff, students, and academic personnel in a university and unionized environment.
• Proven commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion including the recruitment and retention of an excellent and diverse collaborators, artists, workforce, and board.
• Experience establishing high-impact collaborations, capitalizing on and effectively participating in Los Angeles’ unique cultural ethos and dynamic.
• Exceptional oral and written communication skills, whether in the elevator or at the podium.
• As a normal requirement, the appointee should have the terminal or top degree in the appointee’s field, e.g., M.F.A., or the highest degree that is commonly expected for appointment in the activity.

The posted salary range for this position is $500,000-$750,000 commensurate with experience. The Hammer Museum has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this important recruitment. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, and applications electronically and in confidence to:

Sarah James, Courtney Wilk-Mandel, Rafa Escobedo
Isaacson, Miller

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