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Becoming Los Angeles

NHM's new, permanent exhibition, Becoming Los Angeles, is open!
The exhibition chronicles how people and the land affected eachother over 500 years and transformed a remote pueblo into the L.A. we know today.
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New Exhibits Open!

L.A. is more wild than you think! Come celebrate the transformation of NHM into an indoor-outdoor Museum!
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Becoming L.A.

Becoming Los Angeles

The new exhibition Becoming Los Angeles opened July 14, 2013. This 14,000-square-foot masterpiece is the largest in the Museum. It tells stories in six major sections: Los Angeles and the region at the time of Spanish contact; the Spanish Mission Era; the Mexican Rancho Era; the early American Period; the emergence of a new American city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the Great Depression and World War II, to the present.

Some of the stories are well-known, such as how the acquisition of water through the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 allowed Los Angeles to grow. But there are other natural and human influences might surprise you: how cattle, the Gold Rush, floods, a plague of grasshoppers, railroads, and outlandish booster campaigns all played a part in transforming the region into an agricultural and industrial empire; the pivotal role Los Angeles played in World War II; and the dynamic diversity of the earliest settlers.

Come meet L.A.'s Native Americans, colonists, and settlers; rancheros, citrus growers and oil barons; captains of industry, boosters, and radicals; filmmakers, innovators, and more!


Click here for images of Becoming Los Angeles!

Scarlett O'Hara's Dress on View

Scarlett O'Hara's famous "Barbecue Dress" from Gone with the Wind is on public view for the first time at NHM. Beginning December 19, the dress will be displayed in Becoming Los Angeles for a six-month run to coincide with the 75th anniversary of film's release.This newly conserved green and white dress worn by Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) to the barbeque Twelve Oaks Plantation in Gone With the Wind will be featured in a specially-made costume case near the exhibition's other Hollywood treasures.

The artifact was donated by Daniel Selznick, son of GWTW producer David O. Selznick, to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, who in turn donated it to the Natural History Museum's vast collection of Hollywood costumes in 2004. The signature costume appears onscreen for 30 important minutes of the Civil War romance. Scarlett is shown being strapped into her corset to fit into the dress before the barbecue party begins, and wears the gown throughout the momentous party where she loses Ashley Wilkes, meets Rhett Butler, and the beginning of the fateful war is announced, all in single afternoon.