When I left Pasadena in 2005 it was possible to find parking. Not anymore. But one place that still offers it and boasts artistic eclecticism is The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA). And the parking lot is painted and fun to look at.
It’s an awkward name for a museum because it doesn’t have a ring to it. I feel a more appropriate name would have been, Pasadena Museum of Modern Art. Still, it’s one of the coolest places to be. I was there last Friday evening when they featured poetry readings by Red Hen Press. Red Hen is a local non-profit publisher.
The museum is dedicated to California art, architecture, and design from 1850 to the present. Its influence is captivated by the state’s rich mixture of cultures and inspired by its geography.
California has long been defined by a spirit of freedom and experimentation. And the PMCA exhibitions explore the cultural dynamics and influences unique to the state that have shaped and defined art in all forms of media.
Just look at the essence of each of these images. The blue and green image is a lamp composed of vintage wine glasses hung upside down. The copper pipes hold all shapes and sizes of 1940’s & 1950’s ceramics. And the paintings are from Joseph Kleitsch, a figurative artist originally from Hungary that painted his artist haven of Laguna Beach in the roaring twenties.
Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph the black and white images of Pasadena I viewed. I was astounded how the city has been butchered. The most notable was the ornate beauty of Pasadena City College that now is a bland box with a fountain in front. I did however find an image online before and after that I share with you now.
As playwright, George Bernard Shaw, said, “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”