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Pomona College Museum of Art Awarded $190,000 Getty Foundation Grant

The Pomona College Museum of Art has been awarded a $190,000 Getty Foundation grant for the future exhibit "Pomona College 1969-1973." The grant is one of 15 grants—totaling nearly $2.8 million—that will launch an unprecedented series of concurrent exhibitions at museums throughout Southern California, highlighting the post-World War II Los Angeles art scene. Exhibitions will begin in 2011 as part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.

“The exhibitions and the events that will accompany them as part of Pacific Standard Time will demonstrate the pivotal role played by Southern California in national and international artistic movements since the middle of the 20th century,” said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation, during the October 28 announcement. “Art institutions from Santa Barbara to San Diego are joining together to create programs that will highlight the region’s vibrant artistic scene.” Among those receiving the grants are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hammer Museum and Scripps College’s Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery.

“Pomona College 1969-1973” will explore a provocative era when the Pomona College Museum of Art presented some of the most challenging exhibitions of contemporary art anywhere in the country through its experimental exhibition program curated by Hal Glicksman and Helene Winer. The display of groundbreaking works by key artists who bridged the gap between Post-Minimalism and Conceptual Art, such as Michael Asher, Tom Eatherton and Allen Ruppersberg, formed the educational backdrop for a generation of artists who spent their formative years in Los Angeles and came to dominate the explosive New York art scene of the 1980s. The avant-garde art practices and exhibitions at Pomona College during this period paralleled groundbreaking developments in the Southern California art world, including pop art, conceptual art, assemblage, video, performance, installation, and most specifically to Southern California, the Finish Fetish work and the Light and Space movement.

In addition to the grant for the Pacific Standard Times exhibit, Pomona College Museum of Art Curator Rebecca McGrew was awarded a prestigious J. Paul Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship of $15,500 for a three-month leave to undertake research, conduct interviews and determine the scope of the “Pomona College 1969–1973” project. The interviews, one of the key components of the fellowship, will form the basis of an oral history of the time and fill in gaps in the minimal exhibition files in the College and Museum archives.

Among those being interviewed are artists Mowry Baden (Pomona Class of ‘58 and former Pomona professor), Guy Williams, David Gray, Stephen Davis and James Turrell (Pomona Class of ’65), and as many of the other artists exhibited at that time as possible; gallery directors Hal Glicksman and Helene Winer; and other members of the Los Angeles art scene who may have been involved with these artists, including former Getty Research Institute Director Thomas Crow (Pomona Class of ’69), former Otis Gallery Director Anne Ayres, and art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp.

The Fellowship, followed by the Pacific Standard Time Grant, will help McGrew build an exhibition framework, conceptualize a catalogue for the show, create a permanent record of a vital and significant moment in the art history of Pomona College and Los Angeles, and flesh out connections between Los Angeles and New York art in the 1970s.

McGrew, Pomona Class of 1985, organizes both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions at the Pomona College Museum of Art, writing accompanying catalogues as well. In 1999, she founded the Project Series, which focuses on artists from Southern California. Currently the series is featuring “Project Series 37: Ben Dean.” Previous artists featured have included Mark Allen and Machine Project, Jessica Bronson, Kaz Oshiro and Jason Rogenes. McGrew has also curated main gallery exhibitions of works by Frederick Hammersley, Ed Ruscha and Raymond Pettibon, among others.

Prior to working at the Pomona College Museum of Art, McGrew worked as the assistant director at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), a research associate at The Museum of Contemporary Art for the Permanent Collection (MOCA), and in the Media and Performing Arts section of the curatorial department at MOCA.

The Pomona College Museum of Art (located at 330 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA) is open to the public and free of charge, Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (909) 621-8283 or visit www.pomona.edu/museum.

The Museum collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets works of art; and houses a substantial permanent collection as well as serving as a gallery of temporary exhibitions. Important holdings include the Kress Collection of 15th- and 16th-century Italian panel paintings; more than 5,000 examples of Pre-Columbian to 20th-century American Indian art and artifacts, including basketry, ceramics and beadwork; and a large collection of American and European prints, drawings and photographs, including works by Francisco de Goya, José Clemente Orozco, and Rico Lebrun.