Dr. Adalbert and Eva Fenyes’s 1906 Beaux-Arts mansion served as a haven and gathering place for local musicians, artists, writers, and scientists for decades. In 1970, in an effort to ensure this salon atmosphere would live on, their descendants transferred the family mansion, its gardens, and scores of original furnishings and artwork to the Pasadena Museum of History. Today, the more than 85-year-old museum fills the Fenyes Estate with tours, exhibits, and a range of events as part of its mission to preserve and display Pasadena's history and culture.
Docents lead tours through the rooms of the National and California Historic Landmark mansion, which once served as the Finnish Consulate. (Nearby, the Finnish Folk Art Museum resides in the estate’s former sauna and guesthouse.) The history experts also conduct regular spotlight tours of specific collections that embody local high-society life at the turn of the 20th century.
In the History Center Galleries, the staff curates rotating exhibits on local history. Outside, visitors can wander the verdant landscaped gardens that separate the History Center Galleries from the Finnish Folk Art Museum and prevent staff members from reaching each other with volleys of water balloons.
What was once the personal collection of Pasadena residents Bob and Arlene Oltman is now a three-story institution with more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space. The Pasadena Museum of California Art features art, architecture, and design from all over the state and aims to explore cultural issues that are unique to California.
Teeming with curios and game-changing treasures, The Folk Tree specializes in the one-of-a-kind work of artisans and craftspeople from Mexico and cultures around the world. Dress up desks, end tables, and museum-quality cinder blocks with wooden carvings, clay figurines, pottery, and other objects d'art made with expert craftsmanship and high-level sorcery. Memorialize beloved armadillos of your childhood with an elaborately painted carving from the family of Pedro Ramirez ($68.50 and up), or make conversations with your walls seem normal by decorating them with coconut masks ($16.50). Shadow boxes ($26.50 and up) integrate three-dimensional tableaus and written text to satirical effect, and black-clay lanterns (starting at $9.50) combine an alluring sheen with tamed fire. T-shirts are also available to help keep customers as artfully ornamented as their décor.
In America's melting pot of delicious cultures, Asians and Pacific Islanders would most likely be the bay leaf, the crucial ingredient that gives the recipe its robust flavor. Pacific Asia Museum, which first opened its doors in 1971, is dedicated to the multi-layered cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Its collection contains more than 15,000 pieces of historical art dating back more than 4,000 years. Learn about vital Asian history through current exhibits such as Japan in Blue and White, which explores how the use of blue pigment on white ceramics, textiles, and woodblock prints was first used for practical reasons but soon became a distinctively Japanese art style. Permanent collections include more than 800 Japanese, Chinese, and Pacific Island graphic-art prints motivated by culture, politics, religion, and scenes from Ghost Busters.
Signature service: Rainbow Art provides quality art classes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Brands Used: Liquitex, Winston, Blick, Crayola, Reeve, Prostroke, and Royal
Pro Tip: Rainbow logo means the vision of promise, hope, joy, peace, dreams, creativity, and confidence in art.
Describe a time your services really changed a client's life for the better.
We always try our best to accommodate parents' request beyond our policies. Once we had a parent who was a single mom with three children ages 7, 5, and 4. They all wanted to join the art classes, but the mom couldn't afford the individual programs for three different age groups. We understand that life is never easy for anyone, so we just asked what she could afford, and gave each child individual art programs for about one year. Then she moved to another state, but before she left, she wrote me a thank-you card and gave me a book named Peace Maker that was written by her. I feel that if one can make a difference in someone's life, one's life is not in vain.
Sometimes it's all about the little things in life. What supplemental courtesies do you include with your main services to leave clients with a smile on their face?
We give Rainbow Art dollars to students every time they come to the class as a reward for working hard. They can exchange them for prizes or art supplies that they want. We share the happiness of all birthdays, celebrations, and events with treats and gifts.
How is your approach different than that of other professionals in your field?
[Our director Susanne] graduated from Hong Kong SRB college of Education, majoring in art and design. [She] also hold[s] CA teaching credentials and ha[s] more than 20 years teaching experience in Hong Kong and America. [She has] taught children's art programs at East Los Angeles College, and helped prep portfolios during art portfolio prep seminars for high school students.
She says, "Our unique programs are combined Asian and Western styles. My mission is to make everyone enjoy art and appreciate the world with one's heart. Rainbow Art's comprehensive drawing and painting programs maximize the students' potentials in various art projects that go beyond just drawing and painting. We have done live drawing at Chinese New Year festivals, farmers' markets, and children's Chinese opera. We hosted a family event to teach students to recycle and draw on plastic and glass bottles last summer."
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our students have won prizes from different drawing contests locally and internationally. Beyond our studio location, we also hold art classes for the City of Monterey Park recreation programs. [We host outdoor events] to inspire students to learn from their environment.
Petroleum mogul Dr. Armand Hammer clung to life just long enough to see The Hammer Museum make its debut in 1990, passing away three weeks later. Without the founder’s support, construction screeched to a halt and spaces sat in varying states of completion. But not for long. The powers that be at UCLA saw Hammer’s vision, and took control of the abandoned museum in 1994. They restored it to its former glory by importing the university’s own collections and staff. Today, The Hammer’s unique compendium of works still hints at the unlikely collaboration that bore the museum all those years ago. Its stockpile of masterpieces explores the modern-day in a contemporary collection of mostly drawings and photographs. Richard Hawkins’ disembodied zombie george green might best embody current artistic trends; his expressionless eyes stare from a yellow backdrop, the handiwork of an undead inkjet printer. Meanwhile, the Armand Hammer Collection, left behind by the museum’s namesake, balances george and other outlandish works with 19th-century art by Degas, Cézanne, and van Gogh. It’s virtually impossible to predict whether rotating exhibits will land in classic or contemporary camps. They range from performance art installations—Floor of the Forest depicts two dancers moving through hanging jumbles of used clothing and ropes—to sculptures, paintings, and drawings. To cultivate better artistic understanding, the Hammer Museum hosts events including lunchtime art talks, tours, and screenings.