On March 31, nineteen museums across Southern California will offer free admission and special programs to mark the completion of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, the landmark cultural initiative that has profoundly changed perceptions of Southern California art and the role of Los Angeles as an art capital. Since October 2011, Pacific Standard Time has featured work by more than 1300 artists and introduced an array of exhibitions, performances, concerts, film screenings and related events—spanning media from ceramics to video; movements from L.A. Pop to conceptualism; and themes from cultural identity and politics to the history of artist collectives in Southern California.
Audiences, critics and project partners agree that Pacific Standard Time, which brought together more than 60 cultural institutions, including museums, performance and programming venues, and 75 galleries across Southern California, leaves behind an invaluable legacy of scholarship and publications, public enthusiasm, newly realized artworks and civic pride throughout Southern California. Pacific Standard Time will also be preserved on its website, pacificstandardtime.org, giving people a central hub at which to revisit some the exhibitions and programs that shaped the initiative.
As a gesture of appreciation to the Southern California community for embracing Pacific Standard Time, participating museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Chinese American Museum, the Eames House Foundation and 16 other institutions with Pacific Standard Time exhibitions still on display will offer free admission on March 31 with funding provided by the Getty Foundation.
“We are immensely grateful to the people of Los Angeles, our sponsors and all of our partners at museums across Southern California for making Pacific Standard Time one of the most comprehensive and exciting art initiatives in recent memory,” said Jim Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “The creative momentum of Pacific Standard Time has strengthened the Los Angeles cultural community and inspired a new era of civic engagement with the arts. Pacific Standard Time serves as a testament to what is possible when art brings an entire region together.”
“Bank of America is proud to have been the presenting sponsor of Pacific Standard Time, helping to showcase Southern California’s rich cultural history," stated Janet Lamkin, President, Bank of America California. “Los Angeles is one of the great creative centers of the world. We believe that supporting the arts here contributes to a climate where innovation flourishes, economies grow, and people, businesses and communities thrive.”
In addition to offering free admission on March 31, the following partner institutions will host a number of special closing day events for the public (please check museum web sites for additional details).
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will host a free live concert by the Surf-City band, featuring members of Brian Wilson’s band and Jan & Dean, to celebrate the LACMA exhibitions California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way and Maria Nordman Filmroom: Smoke, 1967-Present.
The California African American Museum will host a Validancin’ Party in honor of its exhibition Places of Validation, Art & Progression, including a talk by Ulysses Jenkins and the screening of three of his documentary videos, and a dance party with food, drink and music from the 1960s and 1970s.
In conjunction with the exhibition Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles 1945-1980 at the Chinese American Museum, visitors can participate in CHALK ART, a sidewalk art mural activity, inspired by L.A.’s iconic skyline.
The Eames House offers a unique opportunity for adults and children to explore the design principles and processes of Charles and Ray Eames from inside the Eames House during Eames House Design Camp: Making the Connections (reservations required).
The J. Paul Getty Museum will provide guided viewings of In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980, including a discussion.
Receptions will take place in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time exhibitions at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Scripps College’s Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Pomona College Museum of Art and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Jointly initiated by the Getty Foundation and the Getty Research Institute in 2002 as a research project, Pacific Standard Time evolved into more than 60 exhibitions presented by cultural institutions across Southern California in a pioneering effort to preserve, explore and redefine Southern California art from the post-World War II era through the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. With grants from the Getty Foundation totaling more than $11 million, what began as a collaborative effort to preserve the archival record of the milestones in this region’s artistic history expanded into a great creative landmark in itself.
One of the most tangible legacies of Pacific Standard Time is ground-breaking scholarship about all the types of art that flourished in Southern California during the period, with 40 exhibition catalogues published to date. This abundance is certain to be a major resource for future research endeavors chronicling the course of art in the post-war era.
“Pacific Standard Time is the result of an ambitious and remarkably collegial collaboration among cultural leaders and institutions throughout our region, one that engaged scholars from around the world in research about the art and artists of the post-war decades,” stated Deborah Marrow, Director of the Getty Foundation. “The great legacy of Pacific Standard Time is that it has heightened awareness about the significance of art in Los Angeles and created a tremendous historical resource for future research and projects.”
Throughout the duration of Pacific Standard Time, geographically linked partner museums banded together for 9 different focus weekends that helped visitors navigate the many exhibitions stretching from San Diego to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles to Palm Springs. The distinct weekend programs included curator-led exhibition tours, symposia and film screenings, artists’ talks, performances, shuttles between institutions and special admission offers.
Pacific Standard Time partners also included presenters of the performing and visual arts such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Additionally, the recent ”Art as an Appetizer” program brought art to the dining experience with fare inspired by Pacific Standard Time exhibitions at LA restaurants Playa and Rivera, and at a selection of popular food-trucks stationed near several partner museums. Currently, Pacific Standard Time has joined forces with Dwell and LEGO® to launch an open competition celebrating California architecture and design. During March, entrants can submit their original LEGO homes inspired by California midcentury modern design for a chance to have their entries displayed at the Dwell on Design exhibition in June.