Los Angeles art institutions received a lot of attention in 2005 — much of it focused on the negative goings-on at the Getty and LACMA. Fortunately, L.A. has the shining UCLA Hammer Museum, which in the past year became a model for what a smaller museum should be: one that is very much contemporary and combines the local art community with a strong national program. Here are four crucial things the Hammer got right in 2005:
Free SummerAmid a lot of talk about the rising admission costs for museums, the Hammer went the other way by offering free admission to its summer exhibitions. “The Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore,” Patty Chang’s “Shangri-La” and Fiona Tan’s “Correction” were on view, and the Hammer also hosted film nights showing such treasures as The Abominable Snowman.