October 5, 2011 – Pacific Standard Time (PST) is a huge undertaking. The Getty Foundation and the Getty Research Institute are leading this collaborative venture along with 60 cultural institutions throughout the Southern California area – stretching from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to San Diego. As with anyone who’s been following PST, I’ve been reading a lot about it in magazines, newspapers, and on the internet.
Since May, I’ve been working on the Goya Conservation Project at the Norton Simon Museum (NSM). The Associate Curator, whom I’ve been assisting on this Goya project, has also been busy putting together her exhibition, Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California, which opened on October 1st. Proof is part of Pacific Standard Time. Tomorrow I will be attending the member’s reception celebrating the opening of Proof.
The focus of the exhibition is on the history of printmaking as an art form in Los Angeles. It brings to light the collaboration between printmakers and artists through workshops such as Tamarind Workshop and their impact of the collaborative art form beyond Los Angeles. I remember working as the Registrarial and Collections Management Intern at NSM. One of the tasks I worked on was to sort through and verify prints and their catalog/series numbers using the Tamarind catalogs.
I look forward to attending the exhibition opening and seeing Proof. Click here to view the museum’s website providing more information on the exhibition. Also check out the podcast on the history of printmaking as an art form in Los Angeles narrated by the Associate Curator. Everyone – from Curatorial, Operations, Public Affairs, and the Registrar and Collections Management departments – worked hard in putting together Proof. About two weeks ago, the security assistant bought the Proof catalog, which the curator edited. He let me take a look at the catalog. It’s very informative and the images of the prints are beautiful!
Between the Norton Simon Museum’s exhibition and the various exhibitions for PST, as an Angeleno I feel proud of our artistic and cultural roots. As I mentioned earlier, PST is a huge undertaking that focuses on showing the art world that Southern California always had and continues to have thriving and productive art communities. In addition, PST shows the impact and influences of these communities.
PST not only contributes to the dialogue and preservation of Southern California artistic and cultural roots but it also broadens people’s minds. For example, there are areas in Los Angeles that do not pop into people’s minds of being the obvious areas for a thriving and innovated art community. Using Claremont, specifically Pomona College, Carolina A. Miranda points out in her article, “L.A. Stories” that:
Claremont, California is not exactly the kind of place that jumps to mind when considering cutting-edge centers of art production. Tucked into the far-eastern fringe of Los AngelesCounty, it is best known for its liberal-arts colleges and quaint downtown area. But for a time, beginning in the late 1960s, the city – specifically, Pomona College was at the center of some highly experimental art making (Miranda, 2011).
In addition, PST shed light on art works and narratives that were thought to be long forgotten or hidden away in private collections and archives. Ten years ago, the Getty launched an oral history program, which gave research grants to institutions in the L.A. County area, and various individuals and institutions invested hours of detective work. This project led to the idea of the PST. As Miranda wrote, “Collectively, the years of research have resulted in a more complete view of art in Southern California, one that goes beyond the genres typically identified with the region: Light and space sculpture, conceptual landscape photography and Modernist design” (Miranda, 2011). To add to this, I learned from one of my colleagues that PST allowed professionals from the institutions involved in PST to meet their counterparts, where, up until then, they either didn’t meet before or just spoke on the phone or via email. I see some of this collaboration from a distance at the Norton Simon Museum. The Registrar and Collections Manager are busy preparing NSM’s artworks that will be loaned to a number of these institutions to be part of their PST exhibits and vice versa.
PST has begun. People have the opportunity to visit the various cultural institutions participating in PST and view their exhibitions. Hopefully they will appreciate not only the time and effort that was involved in bringing together an art history narrative of Southern California (and the literature PST produced), but as a Southern Californian, be proud of our area’s artistic and cultural roots and the impact our art communities had over time.
Miranda, Carolina A, “L.A. Stories,” ArtNews Magazine, October 2011, 50