Hammer Blog

  • Jorge Pardo Creates Special Edition Lanterns for the Hammer Museum

    Jorge Pardo Creates Special Edition Lanterns for the Hammer Museum

    On view September 24 - October 14, 2011 For the past two decades, the dynamic sculpture of Los Angeles–based MacArthur Award-winning artist Jorge Pardo (b. Havana, 1963) has bridged art, design, and architecture. Renowned for his meticulous attention to craft and his eye for vibrant color combinations, Pardo has explored the very definition of art by bringing enormous aesthetic innovation to the objects that populate our daily lives, from ceramic tiles, clocks, picture frames, and tables to pavilions and entire homes. Lamps are a favored form of his, and for the installation in the Hammer courtyard, he has created an entirely new design, working for the first time with powder-coated steel. Like a hanging garden of blooming flowers, Pardo’s Hammer Installation transforms the courtyard into a magnificent wonderland. These indoor/outdoor works debuted as a special installation at the Hammer’s annual Gala in the Garden on September 24 and remain

  • Viva Libros at the Hammer

    Viva Libros at the Hammer

    Libros Schmibros at the Hammer is now extended until November 5th! We’ll be hatching ideas in the next few days and posting them here and on our website, Twitter and Facebook. Our additional stay means not only more Libros, but also more occasions to talk about books, forge bonds between west and east, and just possibly more special guests and friends in both shops. It also means that this blog will continue narrating the Life Cycle of a Libros Schmibros Book, offering profiles of other folks in the Libros family, and providing updates as we make ready our new Mariachi Plaza space in Boyle Heights… Viva! Colleen Jaurretche, co-director of Libros Schmibros

  • Now Dig This! Opening October 2 with Free Admission

    Now Dig This! Opening October 2 with Free Admission

    Above, left-right: Beate Inaya, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Charles White, and Betye Saar at the Negro and Creative Arts Exhibit at the Los Angeles home of actress Diana Lynn, organized by Beate Inaya, August 12, 1962. NOW DIG THIS! ART & BLACK LOS ANGELES 1960–1980 OPENS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 WITH FREE ADMISSION This comprehensive exhibition examines the vital legacy of the city’s African American visual artists, who—through their work and their connections with other artists from a variety of ethnic backgrounds—made up an important part of the creative community. Including 140 works by 35 artists, many of whom are not well known to the public, Now Dig This! expands the art historical record, placing the work of these practitioners within the context of the movements, trends, and ideas that fueled the arts in Los Angeles during this period. Learn more Now Dig This! is presented as part of Pacific Standard

  • The Life Cycle: Where do books come from?

    The Life Cycle: Where do books come from?

    A city’s DNA makes its way to our shelves every single day. Folks come in, deliberate and focused, bringing contributions to our holdings. Often their books are beloved, and more than once a donor has paused, and snatched the volume back as a keepsake. Others, intent upon housekeeping, bring in books that no longer fit their shelves or their lives. Catherine accepts a copy Stephen L. Carter’s Palace Council Motive doesn’t matter. The truth is that Libros Schmibros’ holdings reflect a transfusion of literary matter from the city of Los Angeles. Like any healthy organism, we filter out what we cannot sustain—in our instance books that don’t suit our collection—and retain what we need for our survival: good literature, art books, books in Spanish, books in Farsi, drama, countercultural mainstays, poetry, and literary non-fiction. Each book is a gift from the city to itelf, and from that cross-seeding a

  • Volunteers


    We at Libros Schmibros enjoy the myth that talented folks just happen into our shop, see a task, and automatically get to work helping out in an orderly fashion. The opposite canard—that we do it all by ourselves—is just as ridiculous. The secret to Libros Schmibros’ existence is the ongoing, donated labor of 10-15 regulars who in their spare time schlep books, catalogue stock, assist patrons, and run events. Perhaps the biggest volunteers of all are the three of us who run Libros day to day: David, Catherine and myself. We’re volunteers because we’re unsalaried, and depending on what mischief we’re up to—from running major conferences to setting ourselves up in a museum somewhere in Westwood—we can each log up to 60 hours a week. [caption id="attachment_2465" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Photo: Ann Hadlock"][/caption] All this makes me wonder what a volunteer really is. I’m fascinated that the word has deep

  • Q&A with Shannon Ebner

    Q&A with Shannon Ebner

    This interview was conducted by electronic mail. Questions were composed by the Hammer’s new media associate Amanda Law. For her Hammer Project, The Electric Comma (an ongoing series), LA artist Shannon Ebner investigates the correlations between photography and language. Read more in an essay by senior curator Anne Ellegood. AL: Where does your interest in language come from? SE: I never know how to answer this question and believe me, you are not the first person to ask it of me. All I can say is that even though I distrust language and think that there is too much of it, I also think that it can do things not just through its meaning, or variations of meaning, but also how it can exist as a sculpture, an image, and as a material. AL: When I first saw your work; I thought of old telegrams in which the word

  • Opening Day

    Opening Day

    Our opening day at the Hammer Museum was a blast! Over two hundred visitors came through, and almost six hundred books were donated. David and I never stopped talking with patrons, while the scaffolding of work that keeps a bookstore running was heroically propped up by Hammer volunteer Tristan, and Libros Schmibros volunteers Becca Jensen and Denise Villegas. Becca and later Tristan imposed order on our storage area by starting to sift and alphabetize the newly donated books, while Denise ‘s fingers flew, entering our data more rapidly than any of us imagined possible. Meanwhile, the museum remained gracious and hospitable hosts to our hijinks, giving us the feeling that we had passed into some perfect and parallel world where we had but to imagine and reality would follow. –Colleen Jaurretche, co-director of Libros Schmibros ABOUT LIBROS SCHMIBROS The Hammer Museum’s Public Engagement program will bring an artist project