Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pasadena Museum of History Fall Events

From the Pasadena Museum of History...

Calendar of Events: Fall 2009

470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91103; Free Parking.
Information/Reservations: 626.577.1660, ext. 10, or at


Six longtime Pasadena families share their personal, multi-generational chronicles in Pasadena Museum of History’s groundbreaking exhibition, Family Stories: Sharing a Community’s Legacy. The stories of the Duncan, Gertmenian, Lowe, Stevenson, Kawai, and Mejia families will help the Museum shed light on the experiences of our African-American, Armenian-American, Chinese-American, Euro-American, Japanese-American, and Latino communities, respectively.
Hours:12:00 - 5:00 pm Wednesdays through Sundays through January 10, 2010 at Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena 91103.
Admission: $5 General, $4 Seniors & Students (with I.D.), free to Museum members and children under 12. For additional information, please visit or call 626-577-1660, ext. 10.


Sunday, September 20, 2 pm

The Museum’s Textile Arts Council presents the first of several fall programs highlighting textile traditions of the ethnic communities featured in our current exhibition Family Stories. Join Sonja Robinson and her daughter Meeka Robinson-Davis as they share the one-of-a-kind hats they have created for the play “Crowns” and for celebrity clients including Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, and Vivica Fox. Their designs have been featured in the L.A. Times and Elegant Bride.
Tickets: Textile Arts Council Members $5; Museum Members $10; Non-Members $15. Reservations suggested, 626-577-1660, ext. 10.

Thursday, September 24, 7:30 pm; Galleries open at 6:30 PM

Dr. Vincenza Scarpaci will guide us through her book The Journey of Italians in America, a photographic approach towards unraveling the history and legacy of Italians in America. Since the beginning of the new Republic, millions have immigrated to the United States, bringing with them a distinct set of beliefs, traditions, and customs. In conjunction with our exhibition Family Stories, the Museum is exploring the contributions of various groups to our unique American experience.
Tickets: Museum Members Free; Non-Members $5; Reservations suggested, 626-577-1660, ext. 10.

Friday, October 9, 6:00 to 10:00 pm

Be sure to make Pasadena Museum of History a stop during this free, City-wide, cultural open house featuring 14 different venues. Enjoy the Museum’s current exhibition, Family Stories: Sharing A Community’s Legacy plus a special performance by the a cappella gospel group Spiritual Voices. For information about other participating ArtNight locations, free shuttles, maps and directions, go to
Tickets: Free

Sunday, October 11, 12:00 noon to 6:30 pm
Join us for this community gathering with special programs inspired by the exhibition Family Stories: Sharing a Community’s Legacy. Enjoy an on-going line up of live entertainment including internationally-known African-American tap dancer and singer Arthur Duncan; Mexican-American singer and guitarist Adriana Mejia with the Trio Tesorito; and the multi-ethnic theater troupe We Tell Stories. View the exhibition and pick up a free Family Preservation Packet with tips on how to research and preserve your own family history. Visit information tables to learn about other Southern California cultural institutions that explore ethnic diversity. From 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Pasadena Star-News editor, Larry Wilson, will moderate a panel/community discussion about the exhibition. Sponsored by the Paloheimo Foundation, the Ann Peppers Foundation, and the United States Census 2010.
Tickets: Free.

Thursday, October 15, 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Beautiful hand made oriental carpets have graced the homes of Pasadena residents for over a hundred years. Many of the early local dealers were Armenian immigrants who brought to America the trading skills they had developed in ancient Armenia, situated at the crossroads of the Ottoman, Russian, and Persian empires. By 1903-4 brothers John and Moses Pashgian had established their rug business as the first in Pasadena. Join fellow textile lovers in their showroom for a discussion and showing of antique and modern oriental rugs. At 993 East Colorado Boulevard, east of Lake Avenue.
Tickets: Textile Arts Council Members $10, Museum Members $15, Non-Members $20; Reservations suggested, 626-577-1660, ext. 10. Purchase tickets for this event online at

Tuesday, October 20, 7:30 pm; Galleries open at 6:30

Author Patrick Conyers will speak about the making of modern Pasadena and show images from the book he co-authored with Cedar Phillips, Pasadena: 1940-2008. He will highlight some of the people and events that have shaped our community. Many changes came about because of the unique artistic, scientific, and entrepreneurial culture of the city. Tremendous technological innovations were made in Pasadena, first to aid the war effort and later to contribute to the country’s sprawling Military Industrial Complex. In addition to a general discussion of the narrative arc of Pasadena’s history since 1940, Conyers will delve more deeply into some of the notable technological advancements that have been launched from Pasadena.
Tickets: Members Free; Non-Members $5; Reservations suggested.

Saturday, October 24, 12:00 noon

A family style Chinese meal at Fu-Shing Restaurant with author Lisa See. Following lunch, Lisa will discuss the obstacles and challenges her family (On Gold Mountain) and her characters (Shanghai Girls) have faced as 19th and 20th century Chinese immigrants to the United States. She will explore a variety of topics illustrating how identity may be affected by the processes of assimilation and acculturization. Copies of these two books will be available for purchase, but guests may bring any of her other works to be signed. At Fu Shing Restaurant, 2960 East Colorado Boulevard, east of San Gabriel Boulevard.
Tickets: Members $30; Non-Members $35; Reservations required, 626-577-1660, ext. 10. Purchase tickets online for this event at

Japanese Temari
Sunday, October 25, 2:00 pm
Temari’s evolution over 1,000 years has produced some of the finest and most fascinating forms of art stitchery. A child’s toy ball, wrapped with fabric strips and threads over a core of rattan or rice hulls, one of the humblest of home crafts, was probably disregarded and discarded after hours of happy play. Author/collector Diana Vandervoort will demonstrate temari’s incredible achievement of astounding precision with an elegantly simple application of proportional measuring and will share pieces from her personal collection.
Tickets: Textile Arts Council Members $5, Museum Members $10, Non-Members $15. Reservations suggested, 626-577-1660, ext. 10..

Saturday, October 31, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon
Are family members encouraging you to write stories about your life but you are unsure how to start? Come to this special three-hour writing workshop led by Naomi Hirahara, who is a Pasadena-based Edgar Award-winning mystery writer, biographer, and editor/publisher of several personal and organizational history books. Bring a pad of paper, pen, and photograph of a family member or former residence. There will be two writing exercises and sharing time with the other participants.
Tickets: Museum Members $20; Non-Members $25. Participation is limited. Pre-paid reservations required, 626-577-1660, ext 10. Purchase tickets online for this event at

Sunday, November 1, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm

Celebrate Latino traditions with the whole family. Enjoy delicious food, lively music, and dance performances. Listen to guest singer and guitarist Adriana Mejia and the Trio Tesorito. Enjoy the crafts workshop and face painting for children. Join us for story-telling with special guests, City Council Member and Vice Mayor, Victor Gordo, and Assistant City Manager, Julie Gutierrez. View Family Stories: Sharing a Community’s Legacy, a Dia de los Muertos display, and a special exhibition on Mexican-American history exhibition organized by the Pasadena Mexican-American History Association. Try delicious food dishes from Cabrera’s, Margarita’s, and Ranchero Mexican restaurants. The Pasadena Mexican-American History Association has organized this as a benefit for PMH with special sponsors DeVry University and King’s Ranch Markets.
Tickets: Free admission; fees for food, beverages, and special workshops.

Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 pm; Galleries open at 6:30

Author Kevin Nelson will discuss his latest book Wheels of Change: From Zero to 600 m.p.h.: The Amazing Story of California and the Automobile. With the aid of images from his book, Nelson traces the narrative of California’s car culture: from the early days of racing, the adventure and romance that Hollywood piled on, to the designers and innovations that Southern California car studios have developed.
Tickets: Museum Members Free; Non-Members $5; reservations suggested, 626-577-1660, ext. 10

Sunday, November 22, 2:00 pm
Join Pasadena’s Folk Tree Gallery owner Rocky Behr as she discusses Mexican traditional clothing with examples from her personal collection. She says, "I think Oaxaca has the richest tradition of textiles in Mexico. My first trip there took place in the 80’s. I soon found myself wanting to learn more about the various techniques employed in dyeing and creating the wide variety of embroideries and weavings I saw. I read about the areas of the state where the unique types were made and worn. My collection also includes textiles from other areas of Mexico, among them huipils and blouses from Chiapas, shawls from Michoacan and San Luis Potosi, and embroidered blouses from Michoacan."
Tickets: Textile Arts Council Members $5; Museum Members $10; Non-Members $15. Reservations suggested, 626-577-1660, ext.10.

HOLIDAY MADness (Member Appreciation Days)
Saturday and Sunday, November 28 and 29
Receive reciprocal free admission and shopping discounts at 23 participating cultural venues from Los Angeles to San Diego as a member of any one of the organizations. Pasadena Museum of History is proud to partner with the following as a way to thank our members for their ongoing support: Autry National Center/ Museum of the American West, California Science Center, Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Chinese American Museum, Claremont Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Fowler Museum at UCLA, The Getty Center, The Getty Villa, Hammer Museum, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles Public Library Store, Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA Pacific Design Center, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Orange County Museum of Art, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena Museum of California Art, San Diego Museum of Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Skirball Cultural Center, and Southwest Museum.
Information: Please contact the individual venues for hours and details of this special offer.


Family Stories: Tastes, Tales and Tidbits
Fridays through November 30; Tours 12:15 pm; Lunch 1:30 pm
Docent-led one-hour tours of the Family Stories exhibition to explore one of the six featured communities. Each session will include a brief overview of the exhibition, an in-depth look at the local history of one featured community, a story sharing time with a family or community member, and a preservation tip related to family objects such as photographs, documents and letters, textiles and costumes. Visitors may complete the cultural immersion with an optional special lunch at a restaurant of the featured ethnicity.
Tour Schedule:
African-American Museum Exhibition Tour/Luncheon at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles – September 25, November 6
Armenian-American Museum Exhibition Tour/Luncheon at Sahara Restaurant – Fridays, September 11, October 23
Chinese-American Museum Exhibition Tour/Luncheon at Fu-Shing Restaurant – Fridays, October 2, November 13
Euro-American Museum Exhibition Tour/Luncheon at The Raymond – Fridays, October 9, November 20
Japanese-American Museum Exhibition Tour/Luncheon at Japon Bistro – Friday, October 16
Latino Museum Exhibition Tour/Luncheon at El Portal – Fridays, September 18, October 30
Tickets for the tour are $4 for Museum Members and $8 for Non-Members. Reservations and pre-payment are required due to space limitations. The optional luncheon is $20, payable at the restaurant (cost includes a $4 tax-deductible contribution to the Family Stories exhibition). For additional information and reservations, please call 626.577.1660, ext. 15.

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