Joaquín Torres García. América Invertida, 1943. © Museo Torres García

Pacific Standard Time began in 2002 as a Getty initiative to recover the historical record of art in Southern California. Fueled by a series of Getty grants, it grew into a region-wide collaboration between more than 60 cultural institutions, culminating in a series of exhibitions and events from October 2011 to April 2012 across Southern California called Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980. The initiative resulted in more than 40 publications documenting Los Angeles' impact on art history during the postwar years, dozens of traveling and related exhibitions all over the world, and unprecedented international press attention focused on Los Angeles' art scene.

The Getty presented four exhibitions as part of the larger Pacific Standard Time initiative: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture 1950–1970, Greetings from L.A. Artists and Publics 1950–1970, From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column, and In Focus: Los Angeles 1945–1980. In addition, the Getty edited and published the award-winning volume of essays Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles Art 1945–1980 and hosted dozens of related performances and events.

To maintain the collaborative spirit and momentum of Pacific Standard Time, in 2013 the Getty launched a smaller initiative, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., a wide-ranging look at the region's modern architectural heritage and the significant contributions of L.A. architects to national and global developments in architecture. The series of nine Getty-funded exhibitions and related programs took place April–July 2013 in conjunction with the Getty exhibitions Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990 and In Focus: Ed Ruscha.

The Getty is now in the initial stages of planning for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Scheduled to open in September 2017, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will offer an in-depth exploration of the artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America, the relationships between Latin America and the rest of the world, the history of exchange among Latin American countries, and the Latin American diaspora.

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