Working on an exhibition requires an immense amount of knowledge and a thorough understanding of the subject matter. . .and the ability to boil all of that down into labels that visitors can read in thirty seconds or less. This leaves much unsaid - and unread. Luckily, there are blogs to provide readers with information that, while fascinating, simply could not fit on a label. This blog also features articles related to our Education programs, the Museum Store, the Museum's vast collections, and more.

Eva Fenyes on a burro

Fall 2017 Edition of the Collections Quarterly

October 18, 2017

  Archives Feature – The Benshoff Collection Our Archives houses the marvelous Benshoff Family Collection, which contains architectural drawings, personal papers, and photographs. William Alton …

1886 Pasadena photo

Country Living in Pasadena

October 11, 2017

When Pasadena was incorporated as a city in June, 1886 it was experiencing the beginning of a real estate boom that would transform it from …

Pasadena Lager

This Round’s on the Collections Manager

October 4, 2017

A six-pack has been sitting on the corner of my desk for a week and a half. (And no, I wasn’t fired. Granted, I wasn’t promoted either, …

Sketch by tilemaker Ernest Batchelder

Ernest Batchelder: Educator, Designer and Tilemaker: Part I

September 27, 2017

  This essay is adapted from the text in the exhibit Batchelder: Tilemaker, which was on view at Pasadena Museum of History from September 2016 …

rose hall design drawing

Calling on the Rose Muse: Creating the “Royal Rose Hall” Installation

September 20, 2017

As a member of the curatorial team for the Royals of Pasadena exhibit, I was called upon to imagine what might be created in the …

photograph of Chi lo sa

Chi lo sa’s Basket: Trunk, Prison, Hiding-place, & More

September 7, 2017

Among the many artifacts being inventoried this summer in the basement of Fenyes Mansion is a small basket that, considering its age, is in surprisingly …

Sanborn map of Woodbury Estate

Back Up the Train!

August 30, 2017

A Correction and Additions to “All Aboard! Riding the Rails with Colonel G.G. Green.” Where Did Philip Armour Live? Pasadena or Altadena? Soon after my …

Thaddeus Lowe home

The Startling Personal Finances of Professor T.S.C. Lowe

August 23, 2017

A bold entrepreneur and scientist, Thaddeus S.C. Lowe (1832-1913) made fortunes and lost them. The story of Professor Lowe’s fortunes is a cautionary tale. He was …

McLellan and microscope with micromotor

World’s Smallest Motor: The McLellan Micromotor

August 15, 2017

In 1959, Dr. Richard Feynman, the famous Caltech physicist, issued a challenge that effectively ushered in the field of nanotechnology. He offered a $1,000 prize …

first Pasadena school

The Founding of Pasadena’s Schools

August 9, 2017

  Pasadena Unified School District Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) had its humble beginnings in September 1874 in the parlor of William Clapp’s small house …