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Hammer's Museum

December 09, 1990

I just finished reading Christopher Knight's Nov. 25 commentary, "Hammer's Exercise in Superfluousness." His attitude toward Armand Hammer and the new Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center can be described in one word: venomous!

Two pages of insults, some overt and others camouflaged, are beneath any journalist.

Whether or not Mr. Knight finds the museum inadequate in its scope, it certainly does not warrant his use of the word pathetic (twice).

As far as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art goes, I'm afraid that its leaders' attitudes and behavior have caused it to suffer losses far beyond the loss of the Hammer collection.

Perhaps earlier lessons (when other major California collections went elsewhere) weren't enough to wake up the pompous administrative heads of LACMA to treating their patrons with respect.

Shame on Knight for using his position with The Times to slander the founder of an art institution and his collection the weekend before it opened.

Where ethics are concerned, it is Christopher Knight (with his half-truths, untruths and unsupported criticisms presented as "facts"), not Dr. Hammer, who should be questioned.

HOWARD THOMAS MAULDIN

Los Angeles

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