Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1965–68, Ed Ruscha.

The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1965–68, Ed Ruscha. Oil on canvas. 53 1/2 x 133 1/2 in. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972. © Ed Ruscha. Photography by Lee Stalsworth

In March 1965, a new building complex for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was completed at this location on Wilshire Boulevard, where it remains today. LACMA’s establishment was one of the most concrete markers of L.A. art’s transformation from its largely private, underground roots to a more public, official scene. Local artists would clamor for greater representation at the museum throughout the 1960s, and Edward Kienholz, Ken Price, Los Four, Bruce Nauman, and others received solo exhibitions there. From 1967 to 1971, LACMA launched a groundbreaking program entitled “Art and Technology” that paired contemporary artists with corporations in hopes that new art forms might be developed. The long list of participating artists included John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Frederick Eversley, Robert Irwin, John McCracken, and Stephan von Huene.

Historic Map Locations

Works of Art

  • Untitled, 1969, Larry Bell.

    Untitled, 1969, Larry Bell. Mineral-coated glass. 40 x 40 x 40 in. Courtesy The Pace Gallery. © Larry Bell. Photo by Ellen Labenski

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 1970, Frederick Eversley. Three-color, three-layer cast polyester. 20 x 20 x 6 in. Collection of the artist. © Frederick Eversley

  • The Future as Afterthought

    The Future as Afterthought, 1962, Edward Kienholz. Paint and resin on plastic and rubber doll parts with sheet metal, tricycle pedals, and wood. 54 x 21 x 16 15/16 in. Onnasch Collection. © Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Photo courtesy L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

  • Tap Dancer

    Tap Dancer, 1967, Stephan von Huene. Wood, metal, and mechanical components. 47 1/4 x 35 7/16 x 29 1/2 in. Collection of Nancy Reddin Kienholz. © Petra von Huene. Photo: Sebastian Hartz

  • Quality Material, John Baldessari

    Quality Material, 1966–68, John Baldessari. Acrylic on canvas. 67 3/4 x 56 1/2 in. Collection of Danielle and David Ganek. © John Baldessari

  • Little Big Horn

    Little Big Horn, 1959, Peter Voulkos. Polychromed stoneware. 62 x 40 x 40 in. The Oakland Museum of California, gift of the Art Guild in memory of Helen Schilling Stelzner. © Mrs. Ann Voulkos, Voulkos Family Trust. Image courtesy of the Voulkos & Co. Catalogue Project. Photo by Joe Schopplein

  • For People Who Know The Difference

    For People Who Know The Difference, 1967, John McCracken. Polyester resin, fiberglass, and plywood. 120 x 20 1/4 x 3 1/4 in. Collection of the Mohn Family Trust. © The Estate of John McCracken. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

  • BG Red

    BG Red, 1963, Ken Price. Fired clay with acrylic and lacquer on wooden base. 10 in. high. Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Gifford Phillips. Permission courtesy Ken Price Studio. Photo by Taylor Sherill

Explore the Archive

  • Frank Gehry, Babs Altoon, Billy Al Bengston, Larry Bell, John Altoon, and Tony Berlant

    Frank Gehry, Babs Altoon, Billy Al Bengston, Larry Bell, John Altoon, and Tony Berlant at Culture Day at LACMA (L.A. County Museum of Art), 1968. Photo by and © Julian Wasser. Courtesy of Julian Wasser, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, and Museum Associates/LACMA

  • Betty Asher and Henry Hopkins

    Betty Asher and Henry Hopkins in front of Ed Ruscha's painting The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire (1965–68), ca. late 1960s. © Ed Ruscha. The Getty Research Institute, Betty Asher Papers, Gift of Michael Asher, 2009.M.30

  • Los Angeles artists at Culture Day at LACMA, 1968

    Several Los Angeles artists at Culture Day at LACMA (L.A. County Museum of Art), 1968. Photo by and © Julian Wasser.