Take Two for July 15, 2013

A sneak preview of 'Becoming LA' at the Natural History Museum

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

A team of City Planning Department model makers, drafters and architects surveyed downtown Los Angeles between 1938 and 1940 and built a model, of which this is a small part, at the Natural History Museum's new exhibit, "Becoming Los Angeles," opening July 14, 2013.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

Museum patrons can look through a tube to watch a video that explains how cows (and their poop) helped to change L.A.'s natural environment.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

The thousands of cattle that roamed freely and grazed throughout the Los Angeles basin left a lasting impact on the natural environment.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

Souvenir water that was bottled on November 5, 1913, from the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

A museum exhibit displays the remains of a carcass being swarmed by locusts, most likely the species that ate its way through Southern California in the 1860s, leaving cattle without grass or plants to eat.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

Museum patrons can follow a sweeping ceiling display to the various light points that highlight artifacts throughout the Natural History Museum's new exhibit, "Becoming Los Angeles."

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

The Natural History Museums’s permanent exhibition, Becoming Los Angeles, opens to the public July 14, 2013.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

Museum patrons can follow a sweeping ceiling display to the various light points that highlight artifacts throughout the exhibit.

Becoming LA Exhibit

Todd Johnson/KPCC

Museum patrons photograph a sword in the Becoming L.A. exhibit that represents a time between the Spanish Mission Era and the Mexican Rancho Era.


This week the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles at Exposition Park is rolling out a new, permanent exhibit called Becoming Los Angeles. It's a massive project which recounts much of the history of Los Angeles — biologically, geographically and culturally — over the span of 500 years.

Becoming LA is a collection of items ranging from the first container of water collected from the LA aquaduct to suitcases found at the Manzanar internment camp. Take Two got a sneak preview last week of the exhibit with the museum's anthropology chair Margaret Hardin and creative director Simon Adlum. 

We began our tour with an unlikely -- yet integral -- player in our city's history.


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