The Santa Barbara Museum of Art celebrates the memory of Michael Armand Hammer, who passed away recently. He was known as a generous friend to the museum, was a member of the SBMA board of trustees from 2011 to 2015 and a longtime SBMA member.
Mr. Hammer was a major contributor to the exhibition “Van Gogh to Munch: European Masterworks from the Armand Hammer Foundation and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation,” presented at the museum in 2011, which included the four important loans of Impressionist paintings from him and the Hammer International Foundation: Edgar Degas’ “Laundress Carrying Linen” (1888-1892) and “Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts” (c. 1891), Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Coastline at Antibes” (1888) and Camille Pissarro’s “Paysage a Osny, vue de la Ferme” (c. 1883). Later, a wonderful painting by Mary Cassatt, “Summertime” (1894), was lent to the museum as well.
These paintings were originally acquired by Mr. Hammer’s grandfather, the industrialist Armand Hammer. Over the last decade, paintings from his personal collection have also resided intermittently in the SBMA galleries as guests of honor. All of these works are currently on view in the museum’s Ridley-Tree Gallery as testament to the philanthropic legacy of Michael Armand Hammer, to whom SBMA pays tribute in memoriam.
“Michael was a great, generous and thoughtful friend of the museum and to me, personally. The important artwork lent to SBMA over the years much enhanced our display, providing to the community and, especially to local students, the opportunity to see and learn about important 19th-century French artists, including the major Impressionists,” said Larry Feinberg, SBMA Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and CEO.
In addition to serving on the SBMA board of trustees, Mr. Hammer also was active on the Buildings and Grounds, Collections and Development committees.