Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945—1980 was a collaboration of over 60 cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together for six months from October 2011 to March 2012 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world. Each participating institution made its own unique contribution through a multitude of simultaneous exhibitions and programs, including a 11-day Performance and Public Art Festival in January 2012. Exploring the significance of the crucial years after World War II through the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, Pacific Standard Time encompassed developments from painting and sculpture to multi-media installation; from L.A. Pop to post-minimalism; from the films of the African American L.A. Rebellion to the feminist happenings of the Woman's Building; from ceramics to Chicano performance art; and from Japanese-American design to the pioneering work of artists' collectives. See a full list of exhibitions and programs supported by the Getty Foundation.

Betye Saar, Black Girl's Window, 1977
Jointly initiated by the Getty Foundation and the Getty Research Institute (GRI) in 2002, Pacific Standard Time began as an effort to save the historical record of Los Angeles’ postwar art scene. The Foundation designed a grant program to identify the location of archival materials and, once found, to catalogue those documents and make them accessible to scholars and the public. Simultaneously, the GRI formed collections, conducted oral histories, and offered public programs. As the significance of this archival record became apparent, the Getty realized that these stories should be shared with a wider public. The Foundation then provided partners across the region with support for research, exhibitions, programs, and publications.

A decade later with Foundation grant support totaling over $11 million, Pacific Standard Time came to fruition with the opening of 68 linked exhibitions across Southern California. More than 40 books with new research about the art and artists of the period were produced and form a scholarly legacy upon which future research will be built.

Pacific Standard Time publications
Above: Pacific Standard Time publications supported by the Getty Foundation.
Top Center: The Back of Hollywood, Ed Ruscha, 1977. Oil on canvas, 22 x 80 in. Collection of Musee d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, France, courtesy of the artist. ©Edward Ruscha Studio. Photo: Paul Ruscha.

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Learn More: Pacific Standard Time exhibitions and programs

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