Batchelder: Tilemaker

Willis Stork Gallery

September 21, 2016 through March 12, 2017 (Please note: These exhibitions were originally scheduled to close on February 12, 2017, but have been extended due to popular demand.)


Ernest A. Batchelder was an author, designer, educator, artist, and tilemaker who settled in Pasadena in the early 20th century. Batchelder: Tilemaker celebrates the recent donation to the Museum of a collection of Batchelder tiles and archives by leading Batchelder authority, Robert Winter, PhD, who also serves as exhibition curator.

The breadth of Batchelder’s design aesthetic and range of his shop production will be on display, with tiles from the earliest days of his backyard kiln in Pasadena, through the final production of his large factory in Los Angeles (1910 - 1930) and his pottery business, founded in 1936. Highlights include a full-scale fireplace, large scenic landscape and medieval tiles, and original tile molds and design drawings. Special features include never-before exhibited items from the tilemaker’s family, including the custom family medallion “Sign of the Green Rabbit;” recreation of a Batchelder showroom, with examples of a miniature salesman sample fountain and fireplace; and a 3-D immersive tour experience of both the 1909 Batchelder bungalow in Pasadena and Los Angeles’ Chocolate Shop, one of Batchelder’s earliest large commissions (1914). The 3D models are made possible by Matterport, a company specializing in fully-immersive media that allows users to easily create, modify, navigate and build on digital representations of real places.

2015_008_010Another exclusive video installation, created for PMH by Skycraft Studios, includes interviews with leading scholars and a segment with journalist Patt Morrison speaking with Winter in the living room of the Batchelder house, where he now lives.

Lenders to the exhibit include: the Batchelder family; Chris Casady; Susan Futterman & Arnold Siegel; Ken McCormick; James Marrin; Bryan Mead; Minnesota Historical Society; Jack Moore; Tom & Maria Ott; Tile Heritage Foundation; Farley Tobin & Alton Parks; and Robert Winter. Many of the artifacts will be displayed in public for the first time.

In conjunction with this exhibition, PMH is proud to have ceramic artist Cha-Rie Tang as the Museum’s Artist in Residence for 2016/2017. Cha-Rie owns one of the largest collections of Batchelder molds in the country and is producing the tiles for the Commemorative Tile Campaign.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Signature Sponsor: Susan Stevens & Family

Tilemaker Sponsors: Paloheimo Foundation; Sumner Development

Arroyo Education Sponsor: Dorothy Trask Clune Murray Foundation

Exhibition Publication Sponsors: Howard & Roberta Ahmanson; Mission Tile West; Elizabeth Samson & Jack Stumpf

Arts & Crafts Case Sponsors: Joyce McGilvray; PMH Volunteer Council

Documentary Sponsor: Skycraft Studios

Studio Sponsors: Keith Anderson; Balcony Press; Matterport, Inc.; Craig Sauer 3D; Silverlake Conservation, St. Gaudens Studios; Esotouric; Patt Morrison; United Picture & Frame Company; Ken McCormick

General Exhibition Info

Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Please note that the Museum is closed on all major holidays. The Museum's hours can be affected by the schedule at the Rose Bowl Stadium and special events. Check our calendar for specific dates.

Tickets (available in Museum Store): $7 General; $6 Students & Seniors; Members receive free admission for 2 & Children under 12 are free.


Non-commercial photography is allowed unless otherwise noted.


Service animals only are allowed inside the buildings.

Exhibition-Related Programs

Pasadena Museum of History is pleased to offer a variety of exhibition-related programming. Please visit the Museum Calendar & Events page on this website for up-to-date information, or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Exhibition Tours

Staff-led or curator-led tours are available for some exhibitions. To inquire about an exhibition tour, please contact us at 626.577.1660, ext. 26 or

Ernest A. Batchelder

Concurrent Exhibition

Ernest Batchelder

Ernest A. Batchelder (1875-1957) was born in New Hampshire circa 1875. He earned an arts education back east before moving to California. Batchelder became Head of the Art Department at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, CA (now California Institute of Technology / CalTech), after having served as an instructor in metalwork, pottery, and tile-making for several years. Read more...


Southern California, with its rich clay deposits, emerged as a world leader in pottery and ceramics production for household use in the mid-twentieth century. Cast & Fired: Pasadena’s Mid-Century Ceramics Industry (September 21, 2016 - February 12, 2017) explores this boom, which was ushered in by Ernest Batchelder’s luminously-glazed Asian-inspired forms. Read more...

Searching for Batchelder

Do you have a Batchelder tile fireplace or fountain in your home or office? We are starting a registry of Batchelder tile installations and would love to hear from you.

Please send a photograph with dimensions, and the date of your house/building.

Please note: this information will not be shared with the public. We hope to eventually develop a database for public use, but will ask permission before including your property.

Pasadena Museum of History, Attn: Laura Verlaque, 470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91103

Images: Robert Winter in his home, 2014. Photo by Joanne Wilborn/Marlyn Woo; Batchelder musician corbel, circa 1912. Gift of Robert Winter: Ernest A. Batchelder Tile Collection, 2015.008.010; Portrait of Ernest A. Batchelder. Gift of Robert Winter: Ernest A. Batchelder Tile Collection & Archives; Base of a coffee pot warmer, by Walter Starnes, Pasadena. 7" wide. Gift of Dr. Elizabeth A. Smalley, 2014.005.013