Please note that limited galleries remain open while we install our upcoming exhibitions. Learn more

Teacher professional development

Teacher Resources


Stay tuned for upcoming Professional Development opportunities at the Hammer.

View our 2020 summer teacher program Teaching for Social Change through Art: Strategies for Enhancing Media Literacy in 2020 on Hammer Channel. 

Guides for Engaging with Art

The Hammer Museum offers resources to help facilitate discussions around artwork before, during, or after your visit to the museum. 

Sculpture Garden Looking Guide (PDF, 15 pp., 1.1 MB)

This guide is intended for teachers visiting the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden with their students. Students are encouraged to use this guide for independent exploration in the garden.

Guide to Thomas Heatherwick's Spun Chair (PDF, 1 p., 40KB)
For families and K–12 students and teachers

This one-page guide lists fun facts and activities to inform your experience of Thomas Heatherwick's Spun Chair. Several chairs are usually placed throughout the Hammer courtyard.

Art Cards (PDF, 2 pp., 36KB)
For K–12 students and teachers

Art Cards is a resource for teachers visiting the museum with their students. These cards will help you facilitate discussions around the artwork in any gallery and foster conversations among classmates.

Discovery Guide (PDF, 9 pp., 289KB)
For families and K–12 students and teachers

This guide is designed to help you make meaningful connections to artworks of your own choosing. We encourage you to pick a place in the museum that interests you, and use the prompts provided to discover more about art.

Getting Started with Contemporary Art
For high school teachers
Download Conceptual Art (PDF, 1 p., 40KB)
Download Installation Art (PDF, 1 p., 40KB)
Download Performance Art (PDF, 1 p., 34KB)
Download Video Art (PDF, 1 p., 34KB)

These one-page guides are designed to be used in conjunction with a visit to the Hammer Museum, where students might encounter a range of contemporary art forms. Each guide focuses on a different art form, but they are not mutually exclusive; for example, conceptual art can be performance-based. All guides contain information and discussion prompts that can be used to engage with art during your visit, or in preparation for your visit with images available on our website; and an activity to extend student learning in the classroom after your visit.

Guides to Past Exhibitions

These guides can be adapted to explore artists and ideas during your visit to the Hammer or in the classroom using digital images available on the Hammer website.

Make in L.A. (PDF, 10 pp., 2MB)
For grades 6 and up

Take inspiration from Los Angeles artists and foster reflection, discussion, experimentation, and creativity. Learn more about the related exhibition, Made in L.A. 2020: a version.

Now Dig This! Teacher Guide (PDF, 79 pp., 26MB)
For grades 4 and up

Explore key figures and artistic movements of African American art in Los Angeles from 1960–1980, such as assemblage, post-minimalism, and performance art. Learn more about the related exhibition in our digital archive.

Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology Exhibition Guide (PDF, 6 pp., 2MB)
For grades 6 and up 

Discover American artists whose work focuses on appropriation and institutional critique between the late 1970s and early 1990s. Learn more about the related exhibition in our digital archive.

Academic Programs at the Hammer Museum are supported by City National Bank, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, and Mary Kitchen and Jonathan Orszag. Additional support is provided by the Brotman Foundation of California, the Sydney D. Holland Foundation, and Ellen and Teddy Schwarzman.