Pasadena Museum of History

Pasadena Museum of History The Mission of the Museum is to promote an appreciation of history, culture, arts, and sciences relevant to Pasadena and adjoining communities.
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Founded in 1924 to preserve and share the rich history, art, and culture of Pasadena and neighboring communities, Pasadena Museum of History has developed into one of the country's premiere institutions of its size. PMH is an independent nonprofit cultural institution funded by generous gifts from foundations, corporations, businesses, individuals, and our members.

Time to reset your clocks. Daylight savings ends tomorrow. Watercolor sketch of a village street, including a steeple wi...
11/03/2019

Time to reset your clocks. Daylight savings ends tomorrow.

Watercolor sketch of a village street, including a steeple with a clock and weather vane. Eva Scott Fenyes (1849-1930) painted this while visiting La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland in October, 1892. (ESF.007.1606a)

Happy Halloween from PMH and these young trick-or-treaters we found in our Archives (Flag Collection, 2-67-113)
10/31/2019

Happy Halloween from PMH and these young trick-or-treaters we found in our Archives (Flag Collection, 2-67-113)

In 2016, we were honored to be able to borrow tiles from the Dutch Chocolate Shop for the exhibition Batchelder: Tilemak...
10/30/2019
This 105-year-old restaurant is a secret, tiled masterpiece. And it's up for sale

In 2016, we were honored to be able to borrow tiles from the Dutch Chocolate Shop for the exhibition Batchelder: Tilemaker. The tile mural that we displayed was removed from the shop in the early 1980s to make room for a permitted exit. The Chocolate Shop itself was part of Esotouric's Secret Los Angeles' Batchelder By Bus excursion.

A new owner is on the menu for the downtown L.A. building that houses the long-shut Dutch Chocolate Shop, a rare showcase for tilework by Ernest Batchelder.

Thanks Pasadena Digital History for sharing this fun Halloween photo from our collection of photographs taken by Pasaden...
10/25/2019
Pasadena Digital History

Thanks Pasadena Digital History for sharing this fun Halloween photo from our collection of photographs taken by Pasadena photographer J. Allen Hawkins.

No doubt there will be many Halloween parties in Pasadena during the next week. With that in mind we thought we would share an image of party goers back in 1950. Miss Eileen Mc Kanna hosted this Halloween celebration which according to the Pasadena City Directories, was likely at 2305 Ridgeway in San Marino. Sorry, but we don't know if it is in fact Miss Mc Kanna standing behind the chair.

There are 29 images in this collection photographed by J. Allen Hawkins. Check them out at http://collection.pasadenadigitalhistory.com/cdm/ref/collection/p16237coll8/id/1157

New Book of the Month - Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams, edited by Jocelyn Gibbs, Debi Howell-Ardila,...
10/16/2019

New Book of the Month - Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams, edited by Jocelyn Gibbs, Debi Howell-Ardila, Anthony Denzer, Lilian Pfaff, and Alan Hess is currently 30% off in the Museum Store.

From 1946 to 1973, Whitney Rowland Smith and his partner, Wayne Williams, designed more than 800 projects, from residential, commercial, and public buildings to housing tracts, multi-use complexes, and parks and master plans for cities. Through a breathtaking array of images, Outside In unveils the core of Smith and Williams’s architectural practice.

You are invited to create your own legacy by sponsoring a Commemorative Tile. These Arts and Crafts-style tiles provide ...
09/25/2019

You are invited to create your own legacy by sponsoring a Commemorative Tile. These Arts and Crafts-style tiles provide you with the opportunity to acknowledge a special event or person. Your sponsorship will also convey your support of the Museum’s mission to preserve and share the rich history of our community. The donor recognition site is located on the front steps of the History Center, and the next order deadline is September 30. pasadenahistory.org/tiles

This autumn landscape was painted by Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo. While Leonora is well known for her linguistics r...
09/18/2019

This autumn landscape was painted by Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo. While Leonora is well known for her linguistics research, she also painted as a hobby. As a child, she had studied art in Santa Fe, New Mexico with Gerald Cassidy. According to an archivist in Santa Fe, this painting depicts El Rancho de las Golondrinas, the family home in Santa Fe, which was dedicated as a museum in 1972. #WomenArtistsWednesday

Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo (1903-1999). [Autumn Landscape], 1969. Watercolor on paper, 19 x 23 in. (Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo Collection, 2000.019.0019)

New Book of the Month - France is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child by Alex Prud'Homme & Katie P...
09/11/2019

New Book of the Month - France is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child by Alex Prud'Homme & Katie Pratt is currently 30% off in the Museum Store.

From the co-author of My Life in France, this book contains a revealing collection of photographs taken by Paul Child that document his and Julia Child’s years in France. Through intimate and compelling photographs taken by her husband Paul Child, a gifted photographer, France is a Feast documents how Julia Child first discovered French cooking and the French way of life.

PMH is pleased to extend the Blue Star Museums program of free gallery admission to active duty military personnel and t...
09/06/2019

PMH is pleased to extend the Blue Star Museums program of free gallery admission to active duty military personnel and their families for the remaining six weeks of the family-friendly, touchable exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins. https://pasadenahistory.org/giddyup

Photo by Joanne Wilborn/Marlyn Woo.

This photo of the “touchable” exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins, was taken by PMH Member Jay Lesiger. Cu...
09/04/2019

This photo of the “touchable” exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins, was taken by PMH Member Jay Lesiger. Curated by local collector and conservator Lourinda Bray, the exhibition is on view through October 13, 2019. https://pasadenahistory.org/giddyup

The Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo family loved dogs. Dogs of all breeds and sizes (although often small) can be found in many ...
08/26/2019

The Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo family loved dogs. Dogs of all breeds and sizes (although often small) can be found in many of the family's photographs and artwork.

This watercolor sketch by Eva Scott Fenyes in 1883 shows Eva's young daughter Leonora petting a dog seated in front of a piano. (ESF.009.1231)
#NationalDogDay

Happy Birthday to Ray Bradbury (1920-2012). The author of the fantastical and unreal was featured in our 2018 exhibition...
08/22/2019

Happy Birthday to Ray Bradbury (1920-2012). The author of the fantastical and unreal was featured in our 2018 exhibition Dreaming the Universe: The Intersection of Science, Fiction, & Southern California.

This photograph shows Bradbury in his office on August 10, 1990 (Pasadena Star-News Collection)

The Manuscript Collection at PMH has a collection of letters written from listeners across the US to J.J. Dunn, who broa...
08/01/2019
KLB Radio: Pasadena's First Radio Station - Pasadena Museum of History

The Manuscript Collection at PMH has a collection of letters written from listeners across the US to J.J. Dunn, who broadcast radio programs from his business on Colorado St. Read all about the things they heard and the equipment they were using in this blog by Archives volunteer Robert Bennett.

In the early 1920s Americans all over the country were falling under the spell of the newest novelty, amateur radio broadcasting. One enthusiast was James J. Dunn, who broadcast KLB Radio.

Did you know that #OnThisDay in 1871 William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa, was issued the first American patent for a ca...
07/25/2019

Did you know that #OnThisDay in 1871 William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa, was issued the first American patent for a carousel? In honor of the 148th anniversary of the modern carousel in the US, PMH is offering free admission today to the exhibition Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins. Please join us! https://pasadenahistory.org/giddyup

Photo by Joanne Wilborn/Marlyn Woo

Have you ever wondered how San Marino transitioned from agricultural ranches to the establishment of a city. San Marino:...
07/17/2019

Have you ever wondered how San Marino transitioned from agricultural ranches to the establishment of a city. San Marino: A Centennial History by Elizabeth Pomeroy is the new 30% off Book of the Month. This deluxe hardcover limited edition incorporates original research and includes full color photos, maps and text. https://pasadenahistory.org/visit/store/

Happy Birthday to Pasadena artist Benjamin Brown, born on July 14, 1865. Brown moved to Pasadena after studying at the S...
07/14/2019

Happy Birthday to Pasadena artist Benjamin Brown, born on July 14, 1865. Brown moved to Pasadena after studying at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and the Académie Julian. He was good friends with Eva Scott Fenyes and her family. Eva herself owned 21 of the 23 artworks by Benjamin Brown in the museum's collection. The other two, including the painting shown, were donated by a member of Brown's family.

Eucalyptus Landscape, n.d. Benjamin Chambers Brown (1865-1942). Oil on board, 16.5 x 20.5 in. (Gift of Mary Herring, 2006.004.01)

PMH has a small collection of postcards that feature subjects whose heads are painted onto seashells. Until recently, no...
07/10/2019

PMH has a small collection of postcards that feature subjects whose heads are painted onto seashells. Until recently, nothing was known of the artist, Bertha J. Fontaine. The postcards' creator was a bit of an enigma to Museum staff. We now know a little information about Bertha's life and her time in Pasadena. She was born in Maine around 1873. We're not sure when she moved out to California, but we do know that she was living in San Francisco in 1915. Her husband, Cassius P. Fontaine, was a sculptor. After moving from San Francisco, the couple lived in Pasadena for approximately two years. The Pasadena city directories list Cassius' occupation as novelty manufacturer. Perhaps Cassius was selling his wife's postcards? It is possible that Bertha continued to make her unique postcards after leaving Pasadena. In 1919, she was living (without Cassius) as a cartoonist in Long Beach, and the next year she was living in Los Angeles as a "maker of novelties" for a retail art store. #WomenArtistsWednesday

Seashell postcard by Bertha J. Fontaine (1873-?), 1916-17 (L05-07-11). Gift of Nancy Dustin Hall Moure

PMH hosted the official birthday celebration for Pasadena's 133rd birthday on Sunday, June 30. A rip-roaring time was ha...
07/09/2019

PMH hosted the official birthday celebration for Pasadena's 133rd birthday on Sunday, June 30. A rip-roaring time was had by all! Visitors enjoyed everything from trick roping and panning for gold to line dancing - and free cake courtesy of Baja Ranch Supermarket.
Photos by Marlyn Woo/Joanne Wilborn

PMH hosted the official birthday celebration for Pasadena's 133rd birthday on Sunday, June 30. A rip-roaring time was had by all! Visitors enjoyed everything from trick roping and panning for gold to line dancing - and free cake courtesy of Baja Ranch Supermarket.
Photos by Marlyn Woo/Joanne Wilborn

Happy Fourth of July from PMH! The Museum will be closed today, but we will reopen on Friday, July 5. This photograph of...
07/04/2019

Happy Fourth of July from PMH! The Museum will be closed today, but we will reopen on Friday, July 5. This photograph of the fireworks show at the Rose Bowl Stadium was taken on July 4, 1935 (Main Photo Collection, D5-F1-9)

What's a birthday party without CAKE? Guests at Yahoo!! Happy Birthday Pasadena! this afternoon will enjoy delicious bir...
06/30/2019

What's a birthday party without CAKE? Guests at Yahoo!! Happy Birthday Pasadena! this afternoon will enjoy delicious birthday cake courtesy of Baja Ranch Supermarket. (Photo of the pastry chef from Baja Ranch Supermarket and Mayor Terry Tornek making the first cut at HBP 2018.) https://pasadenahistory.org/happybirthday/

#HBP2019
Baja Ranch Supermarket

Have a Stagecoach adventure at Yahoo!! Happy Birthday Pasadena! this Sunday from 1-4! Yer invited to come explore an aut...
06/25/2019

Have a Stagecoach adventure at Yahoo!! Happy Birthday Pasadena! this Sunday from 1-4! Yer invited to come explore an authentic reproduction of an 1860s Wells Fargo Concord Stagecoach, one of America’s most legendary vehicles. Come 'n' have a look at the stagecoach and imagine what it was like to travel coast to coast with other adventurers, mail, and goods. For more info on this community free day, visit https://pasadenahistory.org/happybirthday/

#HBP2019
#stagecoach Wells Fargo

The PMH Store has the perfect summer beach read - and it's on sale. Icons of Women's Style by Josh Sims is currently fea...
06/19/2019

The PMH Store has the perfect summer beach read - and it's on sale. Icons of Women's Style by Josh Sims is currently featured as the 30% off Book of the Month. https://pasadenahistory.org/visit/store/

PMH was delighted to be part of the Playhouse Block Party on Saturday. A good time was had by all!Playhouse District
06/10/2019

PMH was delighted to be part of the Playhouse Block Party on Saturday. A good time was had by all!

Playhouse District

A descendant of the pioneering Giddings and Hollingsworth families that were active in Pasadena society, civic life and ...
06/05/2019

A descendant of the pioneering Giddings and Hollingsworth families that were active in Pasadena society, civic life and business, Jae Giddings Carmichael (1925-2005) was a successful artist, filmmaker, and photographer. She began her education at Mills College in the 1940s. She received a B.F.A. from the University of Southern California (1951), a M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate School (1955), and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in art history and cinematography. Over her decades-long career, she played instrumental roles at several arts organizations and educational institutions and had more than 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. #WomenArtistsWednesday

Jane Giddings Carmichael (1925-2005). Untitled [Bird/man in black], n.d. Acrylic on paper, 25 x 19 in. (Gift of Rosemarie Zaragoza, 2013.007.006)

We hope our Junior Docents - and all Pasadena students -  have an amazing summer. The 2019 Junior Docent class (from Bla...
05/29/2019

We hope our Junior Docents - and all Pasadena students - have an amazing summer. The 2019 Junior Docent class (from Blair, Eliot, Marshall, McKinley, Sierra Madre, Wilson, St. Philip's and Mayfield Junior) graduated on May 22.

Thank you to everyone who came out for Museums of the Arroyo Day. Be sure to mark your calendars on June 30 for our next...
05/21/2019

Thank you to everyone who came out for Museums of the Arroyo Day. Be sure to mark your calendars on June 30 for our next family free day, Yahoo!! Happy Birthday Pasadena! https://pasadenahistory.org/happybirthday/

At PMH, kids of all ages viewed the current exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins, peeked inside the Fenyes Mansion, made their own cowpoke vests with Art 2 Go, and enjoyed refreshing treats from Kona Ice Truck. (Photos by Brad Macneil.)

At PMH, kids of all ages viewed the current exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins, peeked inside the Fenyes Mans...
05/21/2019

At PMH, kids of all ages viewed the current exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins, peeked inside the Fenyes Mansion, made their own cowpoke vests with Art 2 Go, and enjoyed refreshing treats from Kona Ice Truck. (Photos by Brad Macneil.)

At PMH, kids of all ages viewed the current exhibition, Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins, peeked inside the Fenyes Mansion, made their own cowpoke vests with Art 2 Go, and enjoyed refreshing treats from Kona Ice Truck. (Photos by Brad Macneil.)

05/16/2019
What's Up Pasadena! May 2019

What's Up Pasadena? - Giddy Up is up! Pasadena Mediatv featured our new exhibition in its May episode. Check it out for a preview of what you can see on Museums of the Arroyo Day this Sunday (we're about 13 minutes in).

On this episode, we marvel at the creepy creations at Monsterpalooza, enjoy a trip down memory lane at the Giddy Up exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History...

Warmth Within depicts Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church in 1969 at its original location before it was moved to Heritage S...
05/15/2019

Warmth Within depicts Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church in 1969 at its original location before it was moved to Heritage Square Museum. It was painted by Mildred Lapson (b.1923). According to Pasadena Society of Artists, "during Lapson's early painting career, she dropped her first name from her signature. In a male dominated world of art, she felt that 'art should be judged on the merit and quality of the work, not on the gender of its creator'." Warmth Within is signed "Lapson." (Gift of Mildred Lapson, 1987.20.01) #WomenArtistsWednesday

The MADness this weekend has started. PMH Members can enjoy reciprocal admission and store discounts at 12 other cultura...
05/10/2019
MADness: Membership Appreciation Days • Pasadena Museum of History

The MADness this weekend has started. PMH Members can enjoy reciprocal admission and store discounts at 12 other cultural institutions.

Your PMH membership card can be used twice a year to receive free admission and a 20% discount in the stores of other local museums.

PMH is pleased to announce its participation in the 10th annual Blue Star Museums. The 2019 program begins earlier than ...
05/10/2019

PMH is pleased to announce its participation in the 10th annual Blue Star Museums. The 2019 program begins earlier than in past years, launching on Saturday, May 18, 2019, Armed Forces Day, to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day. A list of participating museums nationwide is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Visitors to PMH will see this Superman and other carousel figures, rocking horses, and toys that inspire movement in Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins. pasadenahistory.org/giddyup

Teachers at McKinley Junior High School in 1935 (Main Photo Collection, S14-23). #ThankATeacher
05/07/2019

Teachers at McKinley Junior High School in 1935 (Main Photo Collection, S14-23). #ThankATeacher

Pasadena Hospital's Graduating Class of Nurses, 1917 (Main Photo Collection, H51-15) #NationalNursesDay
05/06/2019

Pasadena Hospital's Graduating Class of Nurses, 1917 (Main Photo Collection, H51-15) #NationalNursesDay

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Come celebrate this afternoon at the Open House for the new exhibition Giddy Up: Children Take the ...
05/05/2019

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Come celebrate this afternoon at the Open House for the new exhibition Giddy Up: Children Take the Reins. One entire wall of the exhibit features carousel figures made in Mexico. https://pasadenahistory.org/giddyup

Parking is available in the Museum parking lot. Please note there is no parking on Walnut Street today due to the concert at the Rose Bowl.

Address

470 W Walnut St
Pasadena, CA
91103

Metro Gold Line, exit Memorial Park. Bus: 780, 180, 181, and the 256 stop at Orange Grove and Colorado, just two blocks from the PMH. The 267 stops directly in front of the Museum.

Opening Hours

Wednesday 12:00 - 17:00
Thursday 12:00 - 17:00
Friday 12:00 - 17:00
Saturday 12:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(626) 577-1660

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