USC Cinematic Arts

Claudia Bestor joined the Hammer Museum in March 2008 as the Director of Public Programs and Education. Inspired by the Hammer Museum’s commitment to create a cutting edge cultural center in Los Angeles, Bestor has expanded and diversified the breadth and appeal of the Hammer’s free public programs. Under her stewardship, cultural luminaries such as Patti Smith, Kenneth Anger, Michel Gondry, Peter Sellars, and Matt Groening and bands such as Tokyo Police Club and The Duke Spirit have drawn record numbers to the museum. Popular new programs such as Open Projector Night, the Sundance Documentary Works-In-Progress screenings, Family Flicks and multi-faceted theme evenings like Bike Night, have brought national recognition to the Hammer Museum’s Programming. Prior to her work in the museum, she spent 12 years in the film industry, and also photographed on a freelance basis for a variety of publications including the New York Times. An ex-ichthyologist with research programs at the American Museum of Natural History and the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, she earned a BA from Columbia University and a MS from Duke.