September 26, 2018

Hammer Museum to Honor Margaret Atwood and Glenn Ligon

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 10, 2018
Contact: Nancy Lee, 310-443-7016,

Hammer Museum to Honor Margaret Atwood and Glenn Ligon at Annual Gala in the Garden, October 14
In Partnership with South Coast Plaza

 Glenn Ligon, photo by Paul Sepuya; Margaret Atwood, photo by Liam Sharp

(Los Angeles, CA)—The Hammer Museum announced today that award-winning author Margaret Atwood and artist Glenn Ligon will be honored at this year’s Gala in the Garden on Sunday, October 14, 2018. The annual celebration recognizes artists and innovators who have made profound contributions to society through their work. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson will pay tribute to Atwood and Ligon, respectively.

Hammer Director Ann Philbin said, “We’re thrilled to honor Glenn Ligon and Margaret Atwood, two brilliant and visionary artists whose work is both enduringly significant and tremendously relevant in our current moment. Glenn has consistently created iconic art that critiques and explores complex issues of history, language and identity in America. Margaret has received critical acclaim for decades of writing, and is an activist who supports feminism, environmentalism, and social justice. Her prescient 1985 story The Handmaid’s Tale has resonated with readers since its publication, and now with television viewers.”

International shopping destination South Coast Plaza will partner with the Hammer Museum to present this year’s Gala in the Garden. Elizabeth Segerstrom and Darren Star will serve as event co-chairs. The highly anticipated event attracts cultural and civic leaders in Los Angeles, as well as artists, collectors, and patrons of the arts. Last year’s event raised $2.4 million for the museum. Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques will once again create the menu.

Proceeds from the gala will support the Hammer’s dynamic and internationally acclaimed exhibitions and public programs.

Past honorees include Hilton Als, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Mark Bradford, Joan Didion, Ava DuVernay, Dave Eggers, Frank Gehry, Robert Gober, Matt Groening, Todd Haynes, Diane Keaton, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, Tony Kushner, Paul McCarthy, Joni Mitchell, Catherine Opie, Lari Pittman, Miuccia Prada, Charles Ray, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Alice Waters.

For event inquiries, please call (310) 443-7026 or email

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest book of short stories is Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014). Her most recent novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published in September 2015. Other recent works include the MaddAddam trilogy – the Giller and Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013). The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; and The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale – now a TV series with MGM and Hulu – and The Penelopiad. In 2016, Hag-Seed, a novel re-visitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, was published. Also in 2016, Angel Catbird – a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas (Dark Horse), was published. Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Glenn Ligon received a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in 1982 and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1985. A mid-career retrospective of Ligon’s work, Glenn Ligon: America, organized by Scott Rothkopf, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in March 2011 and traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX. Ligon has also been the subject of solo museum exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre in London, the Power Plant in Toronto, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. His work has been included in major international exhibitions, most recently in All the World’s Futures at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions (2015), a curatorial project that opened at Nottingham Contemporary and traveled to Tate Liverpool. Ligon’s work is held in the permanent collections of museums worldwide including Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Hammer Museum. His awards and honors include a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Studio Museum’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize. Most recently Ligon curated Blue Black, inspired by Ellsworth Kelly’s wall sculpture of the same name, at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, MO. Ligon lives and works in New York.

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 Roger Vivier, Dolce&Gabbana, The Webster, Dior, Dior Homme and more. Now celebrating its 50th year, South Coast Plaza is located in Orange County, California, in the city of Costa Mesa. Information: or 800.782.8888.

The Hammer Museum 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. The Hammer is a public arts institution of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. The Hammer is a public arts institution of the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA.

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 for details or call 310-443-7000.