Photography by Ryan Pfluger at her home in Los Angeles on September 28, 2015. Hair: Dallin James at The Wall Group.
In her 17 years as director of the Hammer Museum, Ann Philbin has converted a once drab institution into a lodestone for the L.A. vanguard, overseeing the completion of its Billy Wilder Theater, launching the Hammer Projects series to showcase emerging artists, and eliminating its admission fee. Among the many special occasions Philbin has feted in the Hammer’s chic, modernist courtyard, two recent ones stand out: a 71st birthday party for her hero Joni Mitchell, and the evening of June 26, when a dinner for queer artist Mark Bradford turned into a celebration of the marriage equality ruling. “They attempted to kick me and my friends out of college for being gay in 1972,” Philbin recalls, “and now, some four decades later, I have married my partner. This was an amazing moment.”