online exhibition

Frozen Frames: Preserving Pasadena’s Visual Legacy, PMH's premiere online exhibition, is presented via Kunstmatrix, an innovative 3D showcase for artwork that has captured the attention of museums and art galleries worldwide.

Frozen Frames: Preserving Pasadena’s Visual Legacy is an exhibit series that unfolds in four parts, bringing artistically and historically compelling images out of the deep freeze and into public view. The photographs come from among the more than 200,000 at-risk negatives that are now cryogenically preserved as part of the Museum’s Great History Freeze project of 2015.

Curated by PMH Director of Collections Anuja Navare, the four-part Frozen Frames exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael Kadin with generous funding provided by The Paloheimo Foundation and the Kadin family.

You can view each part as it opens by clicking the entry links below.

Currently On View

Orientation Gallery

A selection of images and a brief introduction to each of the four exhibitions.

The Flag Collection

1914 photograph of a Craftsman-style home in Pasadena

Showcasing images from the frozen nitrate negatives in The Flag Collection. Commercial photographer Emil Groetzinger and his sons' work dates from the opening of his Flag Studio in 1909 until 1940.

The Hawkins Collection

historic 1950 Miss Junior Rose Bowl at ribbon cutting

Featuring images by the most important and prolific mid-century photographer in Pasadena, J. Allen Hawkins. This is PMH’s most extensive collection, consisting of an estimated 300,000 prints and negatives. A smaller portion of the total photographs from Hawkins’ studio (about 3,500 images) is maintained by The Huntington.

The Fényes-Curtin-Paloheimo Collection

The images in this collection were selected from 1,500 nitrate negatives that document the life and interests of the Fényes Family matriarch, Mrs. Eva Scott Fényes (1849-1930), and carry the visual legacy of Pasadena from 125 years ago forward.

Coming Soon

1957 nursery and kindergarten class at Roosevelt School

Pasadena City Schools Negatives Collection

About The Great History Freeze

Funding for the Great History Freeze project was launched with a Kickstarter campaign, which, combined with grants and other donations, exceeded our expectations by raising $37,000 to preserve more than 200,000 at-risk negatives. Following this successful fundraising effort, these one-of-a-kind photographs – many of them irreplaceable early views of Pasadena life and industry – were meticulously processed, repackaged, and re-housed in the Museum’s 13 new freezers. With the support of 4,000 volunteer hours, this massive, multi-year project successfully stopped the deterioration of the negatives and ensured their viability for generations to come.

The Museum turned to two innovative sources for help in preserving its irreplaceable historic photographs: crowdfunding and cryogenics. The Great History Freeze Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund one freezer and rehouse approximately 20,000 negatives. We surpassed this goal raising over $27,000, funding 13 freezers, and preserving over 200,000 negatives.

With Thanks

Skycraft Studios planned, developed, produced, and edited our compelling Kickstarter video as a gift to the Museum.

The news website Pasadena Now proudly supports PMH's first online exhibition.

In addition to the Great History Freeze donors listed below, we also extend our thanks to the consultants, current and former staff members, interns, and volunteers who made this project possible.


John F. Merrell Charitable Foundation


John and Beverly Stauffer Foundation

Questers El Molino

Julie Gallant

Pasadena Community Foundation

The Paloheimo Foundation

Images: Brookside Park, Pasadena, November 24, 1914. (The Flag Collection, Flag_2-61-106); Craftsman-style home, 1045 East Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena, 1914 (The Flag Collection, Flag_2-49-285); Opening, Junior Rose Bowl ticket office, 55 N. Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, November 2, 1950 (J. Allen Hawkins Collection, JAH6032n1); Leonora Muse Curtin and her daughter Leonora, Del Monte Beach, Monterey, June 25, 1915 (Fényes-Curtin-Paloheimo Collection, FCP.220.2.35); Nursery and kindergarten class, Roosevelt School, 315 N. Vernon Avenue, Pasadena, February 1957 (Pasadena City Schools Negatives Collection, PCSN_5203)