Ann Philbin

Director of the Hammer Museum

This has been the year that Ann Philbin and the Hammer Museum were rewarded for their canny financial management and steady growth. Throughout turbulent financial times, and as its LA neighbours peaked and troughed, the Hammer has stayed solvent.

The big news this year, however, is the Hammer’s recently announced founding, in partnership with LAXART, of a Los Angeles Biennial, which will begin in 2012 and feature artists from the city and surrounding areas in institutional and found spaces. (Given this supportive emphasis, it’s unsurprising that Philbin describes the Hammer’s primary audience as artists.) Though region-based selections may have their problems, in a period in which there are fears about the homogenisation of the LA museums (due to the growing powers of Eli Broad and MOCA), the Hammer and LAXART will help to guarantee a strong home–city scene.