Pasadena Museums: Amazing Art Right in Your Backyard

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You don’t have to go far to experience phenomenal art. Yes, the Getty, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art are all museums worthy of numerous visits. But why fight the traffic when right here in Pasadena, you’ve got some of the finest collections and exhibits in the world? Check out the below for the artsy details.

Pasadena History Museum

  • Where: 470 W Walnut Street, Pasadena 91103
  • When: Open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5pm; closes at 4pm on the fourth Thursday of every month
  • What: Amazing historical exhibits, including exhibitions on the Civil War, women’s fashion through the decades, and Pasadena; there are also numerous historic tours, guided by trained docents. The Fenyes Mansion tour takes visitors through the Mansion on Pasadena’s “famed ‘Millionaire’s Row’”; here, there are “original period furnishings, family heirlooms, and a unique California plain air art collection.”
  • Cost: General admission $7; students and seniors $6; members and children under 12 are free

Norton Simon Museum

  • Where: 411 W Colorado Blvd., Pasadena 91105
  • When: Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday noon to 5pm; Friday and Saturday 11am to 8pm; Sunday 11am to 5pm; closed on Tuesdays
  • What: “[K]nown around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled,” the Norton Simon Museum features art from around the world, including collections from South and Southeast Asia (sculptures, paintings, Japanese woodblock prints) and Northern and Southern Europe (Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism). Artists on display? You name them, the Norton Simon Museum probably has them. From Rembrandt, Degas, Monet, and van Gogh to de Goya, Picasso, Diego Rivera, and Andy Warhol, the list is extensive. There are also print and photograph collections, an outdoor sculpture garden, and a great museum store.
  • Cost: adults $12; seniors (62 and older) $9; children 18 and under and students with I.D. are free

Pasadena Museum of California Art

  • Where: 490 E Union St., Pasadena 91101
  • When: Open Wednesday through Sunday noon to 5pm; 3rd Thursdays 5-8pm
  • What: Historical and contemporary art of California; since this is a non-collecting institution, the Pasadena Museum of California Art “develops temporary exhibitions with independent curators, which allows for flexible and dynamic programming.” For example? The Kosmic Krylon Garage—where the Museum’s actual garage has been spray painted in bright colors and graphics by artist Kenny Scharf.
  • Cost: Adults $7; seniors (62 and older) and students 5$; members and children under 12 are free; 1st Fridays (12-5pm) and 3rd Thursdays (5-8pm) are also free

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