Pasadena Museum of California Art Is Closing
Founded by Pasadena collectors Bob and Arlene Oltman (who live in the building's penthouse) and in operation since 2002, PCMA has been a non-collecting institution that mostly features lesser-known 20th-century California artists. I have found some of the California Impressionist and American Scene artists to be dull—not being fans of those movements—but shows of quirky modernists and occasional big names were often revelations. Exhibitions have featured Claire Falkenstein, Sam Francis, Corita Kent, Jess, Kori Newkirk, Irving Norman, the Saar family, Wayne Thiebaud, and June Wayne. PMCA occupied a unique niche in the museum ecosystem. That can't be said of many new institutions.
Pasadena Now quotes former PMCA director Jay Belloli: "I'm very distraught by the news, that's all I can say at this point. I think this is really stressful to me because I think the museum is very important. It really focuses on California art. That is a really important subject… I'm angry that the Board has decided to go forward with this."
Below, a RETNA mural on the museum's facade for 2011's "Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas."