Becoming L.A.: Stories of Nature and Culture

Museums, History
 (Photo courtesy of NHM)
Photo courtesy of NHM
 (Photo courtesy of NHM)
Photo courtesy of NHM

The much-anticipated permanent exhibition "Becoming L.A." opens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County this Sunday. An innovative and comprehensive view on LA's history and identity, the exhibition captures the essence of LA's complicated genesis, from Mexican rancho settlements to the transformative World War II years. Must-sees include Walt Disney's animation table (reportedly used to make "Steamboat Willie"), a souvenir bottle of water from the opening of the Los Angeles aqueduct (which opened one day before the museum itself, a century ago this year), the many portrait walls and the W.P.A.-created model of downtown from 1939. If you were a California fourth-grader, the Catholic missions portion will be particularly memorable (there's even a diorama!). "Becoming L.A." is an excellent addition to the Natural History Museum's permanent collection, and as the museum celebrates 100 years as a part of this city's culture, the timing for an LA-focused exhibition could not be more appropriate.

By: Sara Fay

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