Armand Hammer Collection
- Paul Cézanne Boy Resting c. 1887 The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Gustave Moreau Salome Dancing Before Herod 1876 Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Camille Pissarro The Boulevard Montmartre, Mardi Gras 1897 Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Rembrandt van Rijn Juno c. 1662-1665 Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Paul Gauguin Bonjour Monsieur Gauguin 1889 Oil on canvas on panel. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- John Singer Sargent Dr. Pozzi at Home 1881 Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Vincent van Gogh Hospital at Saint-Remy 1889 Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Henri Fantin-Latour Portrait of Miss Edith Crowe 1874 Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Touc, Seated on a Table c. 1879-1881 Oil on panel. The Armand Hammer Collection. Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
A selection of paintings and works on paper from the Armand Hammer Collection and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection currently on view provides an impressive overview of the major movements of 19th-century French art, including works by Gustave Moreau, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh. A small but wide-ranging group of European old master paintings, and works by American artists from the 18th to 20th centuries, are also featured in the selection.
About armand hammer and his collection
As an art collector, businessman, and philanthropist, Armand Hammer had a far-reaching vision. Born in New York City in 1898 to a Russian mother and a first-generation Russian American father, Hammer traveled to the former Soviet Union after graduating from medical school in the early 1920s. He hoped to practice medicine and to help with the typhus epidemic there. He soon realized that the most immediate need of the Soviet people was actually food and arranged to have grain shipped there from the United States with the agreement that he could fill the ship with Soviet goods to sell back at home. This began a long-term business relationship between Hammer and the Soviets. It was also during this time that he conceived a lifelong passion for collecting art.
Initially Hammer became interested in art when he set out to decorate his home in Moscow. He sought the assistance of his brother Victor, who had studied art history at Princeton University. Hammer continued to collect throughout his time in the Soviet Union. He left Moscow around 1929, having sold his enterprises to the Soviet government. He and Victor brought many of the treasures they had acquired in Moscow to the United States and started a new establishment in New York, Hammer Galleries, which continues to operate today.
Over the years Armand Hammer pursued a multitude of different business ventures, including distilling whiskey, producing livestock feed and raising cattle, and drilling for oil. Art collecting remained a constant activity throughout, and he continually refined his collection by buying and selling. He donated a collection of works by Dutch, Flemish, German, and Italian masters of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries to the University of Southern California in 1965. From 1965 until his death in 1990 Hammer amassed two additional collections, both of which are permanently housed at the Museum: the Armand Hammer Collection and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection.1 More
The Armand Hammer Collection consists primarily of paintings and works on paper by French nineteenth-century masters, including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Paul Gauguin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Camille Pissarro. It provided an impressive overview of the major movements of nineteenth-century French art, with significant examples of realism, orientalism, the Barbizon school, impressionism, postimpressionism, pointillism, and symbolism. Portraiture and landscape both figure prominently in this collection, and several artists are represented by more than one work. The five paintings by Corot range from his small Study of Medieval Ruins (c. 1829-34), an early oil sketch made directly from nature, to his highly finished, large-scale romantic landscape Pleasures of Evening (c. 1875). There are two major paintings by French symbolist Gustave Moreau, including the sublime and evocative Salome Dancing before Herod (1876), considered the masterwork of the artist’s career. In contrast to the monumental scale of Moreau’s work, two still lifes by Henri Fantin-Latour are examples of a more intimate genre that found less critical success, but had a favorable commercial market. Four paintings by Vincent van Gogh offer insight into his artistic development during his relatively brief career. The somber tonalities of Garden of the Rectory at Neune (1885) are typical works produced in his native Holland. The bright palette and irregular brushstrokes of Lilacs (1887) and The Sower (c. 1888), both painted after he moved to Paris, show the influence of contemporary French art. Hospital at Saint-Rémy (1889) depicts the view from the garden of the private asylum van Gogh entered the year before his death. The rhythmic, flamelike brushtrokes of this work are characteristic of a number of paintings he produced during this important period.
A small but wide-ranging group of Eruopean old master paintings includes works by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Tintoretto, and Titian. An early work by Rembrandt, Portrait of a Man Holding a Black Hat (c. 1637), dates from the period when he was a successful portrait painter in Amsterdam. The centerpiece of the old master collection is Rembrandt’s Juno (c. 1662-65). The opulently dressed goddess wearing a crown and holding a golden scepter and accompanied by her traditional attribute, a peacock is rendered in the subtle golden tones and spontaneous brushwork characteristic of the artist’s later works.
Works by American artists from a significant part of the Hammer collection, which includes representative examples by eighteenth to twentieth-century artists, among them George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart, and Andrew Wyeth. Sargent’s Dr. Pozzi at Home (1881) portrays the prominent Parisian gynecologist and art collector wearing a long red dressing gown. The informality of the portrait represents a departure from typical contemporary portraits of men in their studies or surrounded by references to their professions. Dr. Pozzi and other full-length portraits of the period helped establish Sargent as one of the most important portrait painters in Europe and America during the late nineteenth century.
The Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection, which is also part of the Hammer Museum’s permanent collection, focuses on the well-known nineteenth century French caricaturist Honoré Daumier. Comprising more than seventy-five hundred works, this is one of the most extensive groups of the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, and lithographs in the world. It also includes satirical drawings and prints by Daumier’s contemporaries. These works humorously convey a great deal about nineteenth-century French politics, culture, and social life. Two smaller groups of prints by Théodore Gericault was the vanguard of artistic use of the new medium of lithography in the early nineteenth century. He worked on a number of lithographic series throughout his career, representing various urban subjects, horses, and scenes of the Napoleonic Wars. Bellows’ lithographs are dominated by scenes of prizefighters, war, and contemporary American urban life.
Both the Armand Hammer and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collections traveled internationally throughout the 1980s. In November of 1990 Hammer opened the current museum to house his collections. His commitment to sharing his collections with the public continues today with ongoing exhibitions from the collection at the Hammer Museum as well as frequent loans from the collections to other international museums.
Text by Cynthia Burlingham, deputy director of collections, and Carolyn Peter, director of the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University.
1. Armand Hammer gave a large collection of works on paper to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., in 1987. See also John Walker, ed., The Armand Hammer Collection (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1980), and Honoré Daumier, 1808-1879: Armand Hammer Daumier Collection (Los Angeles: Armand Hammer Foundation, 1981).