current exhibition

Designed to entertain as well as educate, changing exhibitions in the 2,000 square foot gallery space in the History Center feature diverse topics that speak to the area's multi-faceted history and interests.

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Podcast with Curator Brad Macneil

Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena, 1890-1930

THIS landmark EXHIBITION is on view through july 3, 2020

early Pasadena postcard

Postcard, view of east Colorado Street, Pasadena, 1900s (PMH Collection)

Exhibition Sponsors: Paloheimo Trust & Susan Stevens and Family

Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena, 1890 – 1930 explores the city's private and public sector development by examining themes such as: Why did people come to Pasadena? Why did they choose to stay? What local, national, or international influences served as a catalyst for the city’s remarkable transformation?

The forty years between 1890 and 1930 were a dynamic time in Pasadena’s history. The area changed rapidly from a small agricultural community to a renowned winter resort and bustling young city. Newcomers came for many reasons. They were taken by the region’s natural beauty and the opportunities associated with its growth and potential. It was an appealing place to launch a new venture, or in some cases, to start over. The railroad provided convenient and affordable transportation to the appropriately nicknamed “Crown City.” Pasadena was changing significantly, fashioned by a rapidly burgeoning population and its hopes, dreams, and achievements.

Historic images, documents, artwork, clothing, and ephemera, many selected from the Museum's collection – along with research compiled over decades by scholars, PMH staff, and volunteers – illustrate the scope of these vibrant decades in Pasadena’s history. The exhibition also features the legacy of Museum benefactors Eva and Adalbert Fenyes. After arriving in Pasadena as newlyweds in 1896, this sophisticated couple quickly embraced the city as their new home. They purchased real estate, developed businesses, and contributed to the cultural and artistic development of Pasadena. Their 1906 Beaux Arts mansion is an important component of the exhibit story line, providing visitors with a glimpse into what life was like on Pasadena’s Landmark Millionaire’s Row in the early 1900s.

Starting Anew is dedicated to the memory of PMH Project Archivist Julie A. Stires & PMH Volunteers Sid Gally & Carol Watson.

For information about arranging private or group tours, please contact Brad Macneil at 626.577.1660, ext. 16 or