Victor Hammer (businessman)

American art dealer and philanthropist

Victor J. Hammer (November 1, 1901 – July 21, 1985)[1][2] was a businessman, founder and owner of the Hammer Galleries in New York City. He was the younger brother of Armand Hammer.

Victor attended Princeton University, where he graduated in 1921 with a degree in Art History.[2][3]

Victor was business partner to his brother Armand Hammer on several business ventures, including Hammer Galleries in New York City, founded in 1928 as a way to funnel profits made in Soviet Russia out of that country.[4] At one point, British Intelligence believed Hammer Galleries was a front for Soviet Intelligence.[5] The Hammer brothers had been in contact with Soviet authorities for a number of reasons, such as famine relief as well as when the Soviets sought a buyer for the treasures of the Hermitage as a way to earn hard currency.[6] Victor was responsible for acquisitions for Hammer Galleries, including the so-called Romanov Treasures and Fabergé eggs.[3][7] In 1937, Time Magazine described Victor and Armand as "Two of the most startling characters in the U. S. art world are the Brothers Armand and Victor Hammer, one with a medical degree, both friends of Soviet Russia.".[8]

Victor Hammer was a prolific philanthropist. He, along with his brothers Harry and Armand, purchased Campobello Island and donated it to the US and Canada as the countries' first joint park, known as Roosevelt Campobello International Park[9]

References Edit

  1. "Victor Hammer in Social Security Death Index". Fold3. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Victor Hammer '21". Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Armand Hammer Collection". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  4. "Gallery News". Archived from the original on 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  5. Epstein, Edward Jay (1999-09-09) [1999-09-09]. Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer (paperback ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0786706778. British Intelligence ... had even monitored the movements of his brother Victor in Egypt (then a British protectorate) on the suspicion that the Hammer Galleries were a front for the Soviet intelligence service.
  6. "Collecting for his country: Robert Oresko applauds a definitive biography of Andrew Mellon, which illuminates his key role in the creation of the National Gallery in Washington, DC". Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  7. "T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History Collection interview of Virginia Carmouche". Archived from the original on 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  8. "Hammer Icons". 1937-08-16. Archived from the original on 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  9. "Remarks at the Signing of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Agreement". Retrieved 2008-09-30. Among those present were the Hammer brothers who had earlier purchased Campobello, summer home of President Roosevelt, from his son Elliott. Dr. Armand Hammer, of Los Angeles, president of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and co-owner with his brothers, Harry and Victor, of the Hammer Galleries in New York City, donated Campobello Island to the United States and Canada in the hope that it would be used as a meeting place for conferences to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Other websites Edit