California Museums

Pasadena, CA Museums

Pasadena's museums are among the country's most distinguished. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is regarded as one of the world's foremost cultural centers, located on a 207-acre estate of the late railroad baron Henry Huntington and his wife, Arabella.

The treasures of the institution include a Gutenberg Bible, Chaucer's manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, Benjamin Franklin's handwritten autobiography and Birds of America, the double-elephant folio edition by Audubon, and its newest addition The Garden of Flowing Fragrance or Liu Fang Yuan, an authentic Chinese garden that reflects traditional Suzhou-style scholar gardens.

The $20 million refurbished Huntington Art Gallery houses the famous Gainsborough painting of "Blue Boy" and Lawrence's "Pinkie" as well as other 17th and 18th Century masterpieces. In addition to an updated infrastructure, the gallery includes 5,300 additional square feet of public space and new gallery presentations of approximately 1,200 objects of European art. The Erburu Gallery showcases the institution's growing collection of American Art. The Virginia Steele Scott Gallery specializes in American paintings from the 1730s to the 1930s, and Renaissance paintings of 18th Century French artists are featured in the Arabella Huntington Collection. The Boone Gallery is dedicated to changing exhibitions.

The Norton Simon Museum of Art houses art from the Renaissance to Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt. It also showcases the masterpieces of such artists as Raphael, Botticelli, Rubens and Goya, and most particularly the impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings of Renoir, Monet and Degas. An extensive collection of South Asian sculpture and the works of Rodin are also on display.

Located in the Grace Nicholson mansion, the Pacific Asia Museum is dedicated to the preservation of art and culture of the Pacific and Asia. With a contemporary Asian arts gallery this museum also has one of only two authentic Chinese gardens in the United States.

The Pasadena Historical Museum is housed in the Fenyes Mansion and also offers a Finish Folk Art Museum, Research Library and History Center Galleries.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art is the only museum in Southern California devoted to California's art, architecture and design from mid-19th century to the present. Founders Bob and Arlene Oltman built a residence and rooftop terrace on the third floor of the museum.

The Kidspace Children's Museum features 20 interactive exhibits and two acres of gardens, waterways and outdoor learning environments. Kids can create an earthquake in the Shake Zone, uncover plant and animal fossils in The Dig or visit the Kidspace Nature Exchange to trade natural objects of rocks, plant life and soil.

Annual Event: Kidspace Pumpkin Festival in October features costume parades, games, crafts, food and live entertainment for the whole family.
Annual Event: The Pasadena Art Weekend in October is three days filled with a colorful palate of events, including ArtNight, ArtWalk and ArtMarket.

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