Current local exhibits about Los Angeles:
Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990, Getty, now through July 21, 2013
Becoming Los Angeles, LA County Natural History Museum, July 2013-permanent gallery?
Jews In The Los Angeles Mosaic, Autry National Center, now through January 5, 2014
Los Angeles has a rich history and it’s about time local museums started paying more attention to its value. Maybe I was snoozing and missed some awesome and important LA history exhibits over the past decade, but to be honest, I can’t remember hearing much buzz about any exhibits on the city’s history, and now there are currently three exhibits at three different museums that tell stories about the city from various perspectives.
The Getty’s recent spearheading of the citywide Pacific Standard Time project was important and impressive, but it focused on art in a particular time period of Los Angeles and not on a historical interpretation of LA. You could get nitpicky and argue about the intersections of art and history (and I would probably agree with a lot of your points), but I still think “history” is a bigger container in which “art” sits (and “art” sometimes seeps out through holes in the “history” container, but hey.)
I’m going to try to hit up all these exhibits before they close. I’ll be curious to see how their interpretations collide/intersect/are completely alienated from one another.
P.S. If you don’t already know who I am, I feel compelled to point out that I work at one of the above institutions, so there is probably some bias of some sort floating around in my subconscious. People seem to disclaimer these sorts of things on blogs, so baa baa baa I am jumping in on that too.