Pasadena Museum of California Art

Pasadena, CA




The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) opened June 1, 2002 and is dedicated to the presentation of California art, architecture and design. PMCA exhibitions and programs are informed by the state's rich mix of cultures and inspired by the spirit of freedom and experimentation that has flourished in California from the 19th century to the present. Located in Pasadena's Playhouse district, the PMCA is an intimate, human-scale museum that engages the public, encourages involvement, and fosters creativity through innovative events and programs. Since its opening, the PMCA has produced exhibitions ranging from contemporary design to historic photography to site specific installations.

Museum founders Robert (Bob) and Arlene Oltman are long-time Pasadena residents and art collectors. The impetus to build a museum devoted to California art grew in recent years as the Oltmans' collecting activities began to focus on artists from California. "We realized that there was not a museum in Southern California that was committed 100 percent to California art," said Bob Oltman. "The pioneering role of historic California artists, the vibrant contemporary art scene, and in recent years, the growing public interest in California art in general, led us to pursue this project."

PMCA, located just north of Colorado Boulevard at 490 East Union Street in Pasadena, is a 30,000 SF three-story, mixed-use facility. The building, designed by Los Angeles architectural firm MDA Johnson Favaro Architecture and Urban Design, is one of the cultural centerpieces to the redevelopment of the historic Pasadena Playhouse District. An open-air staircase accentuated by ever-changing natural light from an oculus above creates a dramatic entrance into the museum. The stairs lead to the second-floor lobby, 8,000 SF gallery spaces, a bookstore, and a community room. The third floor includes a residence for the Oltmans and a vast rooftop terrace (4,000 SF) that will be accessible to the public during scheduled hours. The terrace commands a breathtaking vista of the 1927 City Hall dome and the San Gabriel Mountains to the north.

For hours and admission fees please see the Museum's website.

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