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Grace Nicholson: Pasadena’s Merchant Princess

September 28, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Grace Nicholson portrait

Grace Nicholson portrait“I have everything you could desire.” That brio epitomizes Grace Nicholson (1877–1948) and perfectly reflects her personality. It comes from advertising she wrote for her extraordinary Treasure House of Oriental and Western Art, the name by which her Pasadena galleries and shop became most well-known. The lecture will describe Grace Nicholson’s life and entrepreneurial career prior to and following her arrival in California early in the twentieth century through her construction in the 1920s of a unique Chinese temple building for her business and residence which is now home to the USC Pacific Asia Museum. The speaker is Kathleen Peck, independent scholar and Reader at the Huntington Library which houses the Grace Nicholson Collection.

This is the first of three programs in the Age of Elegance Lecture Series in which the public is invited to join Pasadena Museum of History volunteers for an intriguing new series focused on the artistry and lifestyle of the Edwardian period and its continued impact on Pasadena. Each lecture will be preceded by a short presentation on the many ways you can share the vibrant history, culture, and arts of Pasadena by volunteering with students on educational field trips, becoming a docent in the 1906 Fenyes Mansion, assisting with lectures and events, or working in the Research Library & Archives.

The Age of Elegance Lectures are supported in part with funds received from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Foundation. They will beheld off site at the historic 1929 Maxwell House, home of the Western Justice Center, 55 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105. The lectures are free; advance reservations are required and may be made online. Make reservations for the September 28 program at http://gracenicholsonlecture.bpt.me/

Additional Age of Elegance lectures: Friday, October 20, 11:00 am – Not Just Another Pretty Vase: The Story of American Art Pottery, and Wednesday, November 8, 11:00 am – Etiquette & Lifestyle in the Age of Elegance.

Image: Grace Nicholson portrait, photCL 56 (2517), Grace Nicholson Photograph Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.



September 28, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Pasadena Museum of History


The Maxwell House
55 S. Grand Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105 United States
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