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  • Shawn Kocab

USC Pacific Asia Museum: A Jewel of Pasadena, California

Updated: May 19, 2023

Pasadena, California, is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. One of the city's gems is the USC Pacific Asia Museum, which is located in the heart of Pasadena's historic district. The museum boasts a stunning collection of more than 18,000 objects from across Asia and the Pacific Islands. In this article, we'll explore the history, collections, and highlights of the USC Pacific Asia Museum.

History of USC Pacific Asia Museum The USC Pacific Asia Museum was established in 1971 as the Pacific Culture Foundation. It was later acquired by the University of Southern California (USC) and moved to its current location in 1987. The museum's building is a historic landmark, originally designed by renowned architects Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury in 1924.

Collections at USC Pacific Asia Museum The USC Pacific Asia Museum has a diverse collection of over 18,000 objects from across Asia and the Pacific Islands. The collection includes a wide variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and metalwork. Some of the highlights of the collection include: Chinese Art The museum has a significant collection of Chinese art, including ceramics, jade, bronze, and calligraphy. One of the most notable pieces in the collection is a 15th-century blue-and-white porcelain vase, which is considered one of the finest examples of Ming dynasty porcelain.

Japanese Art The Japanese art collection includes ceramics, lacquerware, prints, and textiles. One of the most significant pieces in the collection is a 19th-century set of 12 lacquer boxes decorated with scenes from the Tale of Genji.

Southeast Asian Art The museum has an extensive collection of art from Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. The collection includes sculptures, textiles, and metalwork, including a 9th-century bronze sculpture of the Buddha from Indonesia.

Pacific Islands Art The museum's collection of Pacific Islands art includes objects from Hawaii, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and other islands in the region. The collection includes carvings, textiles, and jewelry, including a 19th-century Hawaiian feather cape. Exhibitions at USC Pacific Asia Museum In addition to its permanent collection, the USC Pacific Asia Museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions cover a range of topics related to Asian and Pacific Island art and culture. Recent exhibitions include "Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century" and "Waves of Identity: 35 Years of Surfing Magazine."

Events and Programs at USC Pacific Asia Museum The USC Pacific Asia Museum offers a range of events and programs for visitors of all ages. These include lectures, workshops, and performances related to Asian and Pacific Island art and culture. The museum also hosts an annual Lunar New Year Festival, which features traditional performances, crafts, and food.

Visiting USC Pacific Asia Museum The USC Pacific Asia Museum is located at 46 N. Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena, California. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, students, and children ages 6-17. Children under 6 are free.

Conclusion The USC Pacific Asia Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Asian and Pacific Island art and culture. With its impressive collection, diverse exhibitions, and engaging events and programs, the museum offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

FAQs

  1. Can I take photos inside the USC Pacific Asia Museum? Yes, visitors are allowed to take photographs for personal use only.

  2. How long does it take to visit the USC Pacific Asia Museum? The duration of a visit to the museum may vary depending on individual interest and pace. However, it usually takes about 1-2 hours to explore the permanent collection and additional time to see any temporary exhibitions.

  3. Is the USC Pacific Asia Museum accessible for visitors with disabilities? Yes, the museum is wheelchair accessible, and visitors with disabilities can request a wheelchair from the admissions desk. Additionally, the museum offers audio and braille guides for visitors with visual impairments.

  4. Are guided tours available at the USC Pacific Asia Museum? Yes, guided tours are available for groups of ten or more people. These tours provide an in-depth look at the museum's collections and exhibitions and can be scheduled by contacting the museum's education department.

  5. Can I purchase souvenirs at the USC Pacific Asia Museum? Yes, the museum has a gift shop that offers a variety of souvenirs, including books, jewelry, and other items related to Asian and Pacific Island art and culture. All proceeds from the gift shop support the museum's programs and exhibitions.







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