Richard Dubois, 1953
Richard Dubois, 1953

BACKYARD OASIS: THE SWIMMING POOL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PHOTOGRAPHY, 1945-1982 [part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 - 1980]

Jan 21, 2012 - May 27, 2012

101 Museum Drive
Palm Springs, California USA

Backyard Oasis will contain approximately 135 framed works of archival photography and significant exhibition prints along with selected ephemera and film clips presented through DVDs on flat-screen monitors. The exhibition, organized by Senior Curator Daniell Cornell, will trace the development of art and cultural history within the following thematic groups: California Architecture and Design, Hollywood and Celebrity Culture, The Shape of Desire and Dreams, The Utopian-Dystopian Topos of Suburbia, and The Pacific Ocean as Context.

The exhibition’s accompanying publication will contain an introductory essay providing an overview of the development of the swimming pool and its attendant aesthetic and social culture. Authored by the exhibition’s organizing curator and its contributing research team members, the catalogue’s five chapters are: Exposed Desires: Poolside Reflections on Celebrity, Daniell Cornell, Senior Curator and Deputy Director for Art, Palm Springs Art Museum; Dystopia and the Swimming Pool, Dick Hebdige, Professor of Art, University of California, Santa Barbara;From Beefcake to Skatecake: Subcultures and Masculinity, Tyler Stallings, Director, Sweeny Art Gallery, University of California, Riverside; Designing Nature: The Pool in the Garden, Robert Stearns, Independent Curator and Project Coordinator, Palm Springs; Swimming Alone: The Backyard Pool in Cold War California, Jennifer Watts, Curator of Photographs, Huntington Library, San Marino.

Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 - 1980

Pacific Standard Time is a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together for six months beginning in October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world. Each institution will make its own contribution to this grand-scale story of artistic innovation and social change, told through a multitude of simultaneous exhibitions and programs. Exploring and celebrating the significance of the crucial post-World War II years through the tumultuous period of the 1960s and 70s, Pacific Standard Time encompasses developments from modernist architecture and design to multi-media installations; from L.A. Pop to post-minimalist; from the films of the African American L.A. Rebellion to the feminist happenings of the Woman’s Building; from ceramics to Chicano performance art; and from Japanese American design to the pioneering works of artists’ collectives.

Initiated through $10 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time involves cultural institutions of every size and character across Southern California, from Greater Los Angeles to San Diego and Santa Barbara to Palm Springs.

Backyard Oasis is just one of the many exhibitions and events organized by Pacific Standard Time. To view the Pacific Standard Time web site, go to

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Articles Related to the Show:

Huffington Post
Palm Springs Life