ASF Logo

Arroyo Seco Foundation

News of the Arroyo


The outdoors are in at Pasadena Museum of California Art: Larry Wilson





<b>February 9, 2016</b> - Two local exhibits highlight the overwhelming grandeur of our region's outdoors.


Larry Wilson


Pasadena Star-News


The great California outdoors is brought inside in some — in most — of the best of our state’s architecture, and art.

When the brothers Greene and Heineman brought their wood and Arroyo Seco stone indoors, they didn’t make it pretend to be something else by painting or hiding it. In fact, sitting in one of their inglenooks around a boulder fireplace, the intent was to allow people to feel as if they were still outdoors, camping, absent the wind and the cold and the rain.

The artists who were associated with California’s Craftsman movement in the Bay Area and in Pasadena also turned to the emblematically gorgeous vistas of the Golden State for inspiration — the Sierra Nevada, the eucalyptus trees above the sea at Laguna — as did the fine artists who also worked in practical architecture in order to make a living.

Two shows now on view through April 3 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art hark back to that time in our state’s aesthetic. If you don’t recognize the name of the Oakland artist featured in “The Nature of William S. Rice: Arts and Crafts Painter and Printmaker,” you would surely recognize his most iconic image, “Guardian of the Timberline” from 1924, a block print in the Japanese manner that depicts a wind-twisted pine with roots woven into the rocks below snow-covered peaks.

Running with the Rice show is “Of Cottages and Castles: The Art of California Faience,” the Berkeley pottery shop whose work you won’t be able to help but recognize, too. That’s because the East Bay architect Julia Morgan commissioned the shop to produce all of the outdoor tiling at San Simeon, including the ocean-blue ones that cover that Moorish tower that looms above all of Hearst Castle. Some of the tiles that were made for the rather largeish Central Coast home that newspapers built that didn’t make it onto the building are included in the show, along with other ceramics from the shop, which closed in 1959. We’re lucky to have a museum exclusively dedicated to California art in our midst. Join a docent tour at the PMCA this Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. Info:

Talking of this weekend, there’s no escaping the fact that Sunday is Valentine’s Day. If someone you know might be in the mood for flowers, don’t do those cold-roses-from-Venezuela thing again. Right here in your own backyard, John Muir High School’s astounding Muir Ranch, where students grow flowers and vegetables out back by what we used to call the Girls’ Field, is selling just the bouquet for you and yours. Deliveries are available through most of our area starting Friday. And get this: Because you are supporting student farmers who are learning agricultural skills, your purchase is tax-deductible! Check out the blooms at




Arroyo Seco Foundation, PO Box 91622, Pasadena, CA 91109-1622 (323) 405-7326