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Pacific Standard Time: Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 exhibition oral history interviews, 2011-2012

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Overdrive: L.A. constructs the future, 1940-1990 exhibition oral history interviews

Administrative History and Project Background

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, a not-for-profit educational, cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts. Originally established in 1983 as the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (GCHAH), the objective of the GCHAH was to foster advanced research in art, its history, diversity, and meaning in culture by engaging scholars from various disciplines in the humanities. In 1996, in order to avoid confusion with the soon-to-open Getty Center campus in Brentwood, the GCHAH was renamed the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities and in 2000, the program's name was shortened to the Getty Research Institute (GRI).

The GRI's mission is to further knowledge and advance understanding of the visual arts and their various histories through advanced research and scholarship, and through its activities and resources, provide a unique environment for research, critical inquiry, and scholarly exchange. The GRI's Research Library, consisting of over one million books, periodicals, study photographs, auction catalogs and special collections of rare and unique materials, as well as online resources and databases, serve an international community of scholars and the interested public. The GRI also provides intellectual leadership through its research projects, exhibitions, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, hosted lectures and symposia, and its innovative digital reference tools. Through all of its programs and activities, the GRI endeavors to provide resources, expertise, and a collaborative environment for art-historical research and publication.

Through the GRI's multidisciplinary programming, first from the department of Contemporary Programs and Research and later, its successor, the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art (DACA), the GRI worked to advance art history scholarship of contemporary art, including sound art, audiovisual documentation of personal art, experimental music, and dance as well as a focus on the birth of video as an artistic medium around the world.

The Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 project is rooted in a Getty Research Institute DACA initiative called Modern Art in Los Angeles that began in 2002 with the goal to recover the historical record of art in Southern California. Around 2009, the J. Paul Getty Trust recognized the potential of the Modern Art in Los Angeles initiative to expand beyond the Getty Research Institute, and in 2011, created an initiative branded and trademarked as Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.

Fueled by a series of Getty grants, the Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 initiative grew into a regional collaboration between more than 60 cultural institutions, culminating in a series of exhibitions and events from October 2011 to April 2012 across Southern California. In addition, over 40 publications documenting Los Angeles' impact on art history during the postwar years were created and dozens of traveling and related exhibitions were held all over the world, resulting in unprecedented international press attention focused on the history of art in Los Angeles.

To maintain the collaborative spirit and momentum of Pacific Standard Time, the Getty launched a smaller initiative in 2013, 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 to July 2013 in conjunction with the Getty exhibition Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990, which was co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the GRI and curated by Wim de Wit, Christopher James Alexander, and Rani Singh of the DACA at the GRI. Rani Singh interviewed prominent architects as part of the exhibition research, and excerpts from the interviews were featured in the exhibition. Following its presentation at the Getty, Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 was on view at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. from October 20, 2013 through March 10, 2014.

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