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When Laurie Greenquist volunteered to help out at the California State Railroad Museum here, she thought she'd probably just be showing visitors around, or maybe lending a hand with the paperwork. "Then they said I could work on the train," the 38-year-old government purchasing agent recalled with a grin. "It suddenly hit me: 'Wow! I can work on a real steam locomotive! I can learn to run that thing!'
January 28, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Alfredo Ramos Martínez was a few weeks shy of 58 when he packed up his studio and, with his wife and daughter, moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles in 1929. He arrived just in time for the epic collapse of the economy. Not surprisingly, the Great Depression is either subtext or frame of reference for much of the art he produced in L.A. before his death almost 17 years later. At the Pasadena Museum of California Art, "Picturing Mexico: Alfredo Ramos Martínez in California" attempts to come to terms with the work he produced here.
December 5, 1999 | STEPHANIE STASSEL
To celebrate California's 150th anniversary of statehood, the state Department of Parks and Recreation has produced a "passport" that beckons visitors to explore significant historical and cultural sites. Those who visit any of the 90 state parks, 15 national parks, 11 national forests and 34 museums included in the Sesquicentennial Passport California 150 can validate the passport with a specially designed rubber stamp until Dec. 31, 2002.
August 13, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Probably the most significant Sam Francis painting in an American collection is "Basel Mural I," which hangs in Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum. Part of an epic 1956 commission from a Swiss museum director, the canvas assembles patchy clouds of veiled, liquid color - watery blue, bright yellow and deep orange - that seem to grow and multiply like organic cells within a luminous white field. When it was finally installed two years later in the grand stairwell of the Basel Kunsthalle with its pair of companion paintings, the trio cemented Francis' reputation as a major artist.
April 8, 1989 | CHARLES HILLINGER, Times Staff Writer
The huge blowup of a striking photograph of this Mother Lode town's Main Street on election day 1892 takes up an entire wall in the old courthouse. In the photo, banners for opposing candidates strung from one side of the street to the other proclaim: "Tariff Reform . . . Cleveland and Stevenson" and "Protection to American Industries . . . Harrison and Reid." Democrats Grover Cleveland and Adlai E. Stevenson were elected President and vice president that day, and Republicans Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid lost.
Behind the towering gates of California's most-feared prison, in the basement of an abandoned building, rest a century's worth of artifacts from a largely unknown and at times mysterious world. Ignored or misinterpreted by outsiders, this penitentiary harbors a history as rich and diverse as any city's, said assistant warden Richard A. Nelson.
The 2000-01 state budget, signed by Gov. Gray Davis on Friday and totaling almost $100 billion, includes an increase of $12 million for the California Arts Council, the largest annual increase in the agency's 24-year history. The additional funds raise the council's annual budget from $20 million to $32 million and bring California's state arts spending to 92 cents per capita.
March 30, 1989 | VICTOR VALLE, Times Staff Writer
If the roller-coaster efforts to create a Latino museum for California have, at moments, seemed confusing up to now--hold on. The likelihood that the Los Angeles City Council will, in coming weeks, allocate $50,000 to create a nonprofit foundation to oversee the building of a Latino museum may well add more twists and turns to the issue by raising new questions about the project's mission, funding and political stewardship.
From the dramatic break on the Bay Bridge, to priceless art objects that crashed to museum floors, to homes that must be razed before they collapse, the depth of earthquake destruction began to sink in across Northern California on Thursday. The damage total topped $4 billion and was climbing. But officials were too busy confronting more pressing problems to take time out to complete the chore of precisely estimating damage. "It's not a priority. . . .
January 5, 1989 | CHARLES HILLINGER, Times Staff Writer
The 36 third-graders were full of questions as they explored the grounds of the West Kern Oil Museum on a recent weekday, gawking at the towering 1917 wooden derrick and climbing on no-longer-used oil pumps, wheels, trucks and other equipment. They knew the right questions to ask. "These youngsters have grown up with oil. They take oil for granted. In our school, 90% of the students' parents work for oil companies," said Carla Arnold, who teaches the third-graders from Taft's Jefferson School.
February 17, 2013 | By Holly Myers
Jessica Rath's project “Take Me to the Apple Breeder” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, begins with a fundamentally captivating subject: the metaphor-rich science of apple cultivation. After coming across a mention in a book of the USDA's Plant Genetics Resource Unit at Cornell University, where endangered varieties of apples are preserved and clones crossbred to produce new varieties, Rath made several visits to the center over the course of three years and presumably learned a great deal about apples.
November 17, 2012 | By Scarlet Cheng
In 1933 America was staggering through the Great Depression, and Angelenos Jake Zeitlin and Delmer Daves organized a small group to support an artist they believed in, Paul Landacre. Each contributed $100 a year - that went a long way in those days - which awarded them a new print every month. Zeitlin ran an antiquarian book store, which included a small art gallery, and Daves was a budding Hollywood writer who would later direct the film noir classic "Dark Passage" (1947) and the original "3:10 to Yuma" (1957)
September 20, 2012
EVENTS The Pasadena Museum of California Art is turning 10 years old and to celebrate it's throwing a party for the people featuring a free beer garden, hands-on workshops, live performances, food trucks including Nom Nom, Cool Haus and Pie and Burger, and an old-fashioned birthday cake. Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 East Union St., Pasadena. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sat. Free. (626) 568-3665;
April 10, 2011 | By Scarlet Cheng, Los Angeles Times
A century ago, the California Art Club was launched by a handful of European émigrés and plucky Americans who decided to make creativity their calling.  In those days, being an artist was not so fashionable a profession, but the founders included many now considered the greats of early California art such as Franz Bischoff, Hanson Puthuff and William Wendt.  In this post-Modern era, the club's emphasis on representational style and academic subject...
April 25, 2010 | From The Los Angeles Times
A bird's-eye zip of Catalina Island The first zip line in Los Angeles County has opened on Catalina Island, where participants get a bird's-eye view of pristine Descanso Canyon as they fly above chaparral and through a eucalyptus tree canopy. The Zip Line Eco Tour consists of five separate lines — one longer than 1,000 feet — that crisscross and drop into the rugged ravine before they end, 440 feet below, near the beach. But the ride promises more than thrills suspended from a steel cable at times 300 feet above the canyon floor with speeds topping 40 mph. Signs on each platform explain the local fauna, flora and history; guides trained by the Catalina Island Conservancy supply interpretation.
March 16, 2010 | By CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT, Art Critic
Anyone who has driven around Los Angeles in the last 50 years knows Millard Sheets' art, even if they don't know his name. For Home Savings of America, he designed the distinctive white marble branch banks and their artistic decorations, sometimes collaborating with others, starting in 1952. (Many of those buildings became branches of Washington Mutual and now Chase bank.) The stripped classicism of the architecture is enlivened by Sheets' specialty: stylized mosaic murals and wall reliefs.
New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation may have acquired the lion's share of Italian Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo's contemporary American art collection last weekend, but very little of his coveted California art was included in the arrangement, the count revealed in an interview this week.
The new Pasadena Museum of California Art has its public debut today with the opening of four modest exhibitions. The shows feature landscape paintings from 1905 to 1925, a distinctive variant on Surrealist art from the 1930s, geometric abstraction from the late 1950s to the early 1960s and, finally, a sliver of Conceptual art in the 1970s. Together they suggest an extremely wide range of artistic production during California's 20th century.
December 26, 2009 | By Deborah Netburn
After seeing "Behold the Day: The Color Block Prints of Frances Gearhart," showing at the Pasadena Museum of California Art through Jan. 31, one may wonder why Gearhart isn't better known. Back in the 1930s, at the height of her career, she became one of the top color-block printmakers in America, displaying her work at the Smithsonian and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as at numerous shows on the West Coast. Even if her fame faded in the East, where her mountainous landscapes may not have resonated as much, one would expect her continued popularity in California, where she lived and worked until her death in 1958 at age 89. Over the course of her 30-year career, this Pasadena artist -- one of three sisters, none of them married, all of them teachers in the public school system, all of them artists and travelers -- became her own compelling, uplifting portrait of female achievement and independence.
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