October 16, 2018


Highlights include tributes from Michael Chabon and Bryan Stevenson,
live performance by Leon Bridges

 Presented in Partnership with South Coast Plaza

 (Los Angeles, CA) — On Sunday, October 14, 2018, the Hammer Museum welcomed cultural and civic leaders, artists, collectors, patrons of the arts, and entertainment world notables to the 16th Annual Gala in the Garden.  The Gala raised a record-breaking $2.6 million to support the Hammer’s dynamic and internationally acclaimed exhibitions and public programs, which are free to the public.  International shopping destination South Coast Plaza partnered with the Hammer Museum to present this year’s event.   

Over 500 guests attended the Gala – held in the museum’s outdoor courtyard – which honored award-winning author Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Glenn Ligon with tribute speeches by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson, respectively.  Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Leon Bridges performed “Lisa Sawyer,” “Bad Bad News,” “Beyond,” and “River.” Event co-chairs included Solange Ferguson, Elizabeth Segerstrom, and Darren Star.  The menu for the seated dinner was created by Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques.

Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin welcomed guests including Richard Buckley & Tom Ford, Marcy Carsey, Troy Carter, Elizabeth Chambers (wearing The Vampire’s Wife at The Webster) & Armie Hammer (wearing Ferragamo), Judy Chicago, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Will Ferrell & Viveca Paulin Ferrell, Charles Gaines, Theaster Gates, Frank Gehry, Annabeth Gish, Laura Harrier, Barbara Kruger, David LaChapelle, Joel McHale, Catherine Opie & Julie Burleigh, Lari Pittman, Wolfgang Puck, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, Mark Ridley Thomas, Katherine Ross & Michael Govan, Zoe Saldana & Marco Perego, Susan Smalley, John Waters, and many more.

The evening began with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres on the third-floor terrace as guests enjoyed Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo, an exhibition that sheds new light on Hugo’s experimental and enigmatic practice as a draftsman, and Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016, the most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of Piper’s work, featuring more than 270 pieces.  During the dinner remarks, Ann Philbin applauded the many achievements of gala honorees Margaret Atwood and Glenn Ligon. Philbin’s praises were followed by moving tribute videos dedicated to each honoree. Bryan Stevenson introduced Glenn Ligon with many praises, and Ligon gave a powerful speech on the importance of truth. Michael Chabon honored Margaret Atwood’s rare gift of storytelling and Atwood took the stage to leave the audience with a message of hope.


Gala in the Garden Menu
Prepared by Lucques
First course: Heirloom tomato toast with ricotta, purple basil, purslane
Entrée: Grilled Jidori chicken with swiss chard bread pudding, goat cheese, golden raisins, black olives
Dessert: The chocolate torta with coffee cream, candied almonds, caramel sauce
Wine: 2017 Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, Etna Bianco; 2016 Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, Etna Rosso; 2016 Domaine St. Just, Saumur-Champigny, Les Terres Rouge

Event production by Mitie Tucker Event Production.
Event photography available via Getty Images


Renowned as a leading international shopping destination, South Coast Plaza is home to more than 250 prominent boutiques, critically-acclaimed restaurants and the adjacent celebrated Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It is the West Coast’s premier shopping experience, with its proximity to beaches and John Wayne Airport, customized concierge services, and unparalleled collection of diverse retailers — from Gucci, Hermès, Cartier and Harry Winston to Dolce & Gabbana, The Webster, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy and more. South Coast Plaza is located in Orange County, California, in the city of Costa Mesa. Information: southcoastplaza.com or 800.782.8888.

The Hammer Museum is part of the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA, and offers exhibitions and collections that span classic to contemporary art, as well as programs that spark meaningful encounters with art and ideas. Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial, Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. The exhibitions, permanent collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—are all free to the public.

Admission to all exhibitions and programs at the Hammer Museum is free, made possible through the generosity of benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter. Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and national holidays. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard at Westwood, Los Angeles. Onsite parking $6 (maximum 3 hours) or $6 flat rate after 6 p.m. Visit hammer.ucla.edu for details or call 310-443-7000.

For event inquiries, please call (310) 443-7026 or email gala@hammer.ucla.edu.

For Immediate Release: October 14, 2018

Nancy Lee, nlee@hammer.ucla.edu, 310-443-7016
Andy Gelb, andy@slate-pr.com, 310-461-0111
Elyse Weissman, elyse@slate-pr.com, 310-461-0111