Pacific Asia Museum

The Pacific Asia Museum is an Asian art museum located at 46 N. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California, United States.

The museum was founded in 1971 by the Pacificulture Foundation, which purchased “The Grace Nicholson Treasure House of Oriental Art” from the City of Pasadena. Grace Nicholson donated the structure to the city for art and cultural purposes in 1943 and was a dealer in Native American and, later, Asian art and antiques. It houses some 15,000 rare and representative examples of art from throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1926 and designed by the architectural firm of Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury.

  • The Art of Pacific Asia
  • Japanese
  • Snukal Ceramics
  • Journeys: The Silk Road
  • South and Southeast Asian
  • Himalayan
  • Korean

The Research Library, begun in 1975, is the only library in the region dedicated to Asian and Pacific Island art and history and contains more than 9,000 volumes. The highlights include an extensive collection of books on the Philippines and 1,500 books on Indian history and culture donated by Dr. Paul Sherbert, former Consul General in Madras and first Director of the Asia Society, New York. Information about the Museum’s current exhibitions is displayed, as are our current magazines. We have more than 9,000 books (almost entirely in English) in fields of Asian and Pacific arts, crafts, history and culture.

Notable exhibits

One of the museum's 2009 exhibits looked at the mash-up of Chinese calligraphy and American graffiti. US-China Today has an article and slide show on the exhibit and a video featuring the curator and a couple of the artists who contributed to the exhibit: Calligraffiti: Crossing the Divide.

  • China Modern: Designing Popular Culture 1910-1970 (August 6, 2010- Feb. 6, 2011)
  • Japan in Blue and White (March 25, 2010- March 6, 2011)

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via