Street Address
46 North Los Robles Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Mailing Address
46 North Los Robles Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
David Kamansky, Director
phone: 626-449-2742
Becky Sun, Community Outreach Coordinator
phone: 626-449-2742 x12


Established in 1971, Pacific Asia Museum is one of only four museums in the United States exclusively dedicated to the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum houses 5,000 years of artistic expression from across Asia and the Pacific in a California historic landmark building. Visitors will enjoy a mix of contemporary and historic exhibitions and a wide variety of enriching public programs all year round.

The museum’s historic building has served as a center for art, culture and learning in Pasadena since its construction in 1924 by pioneering collector and entrepreneur Grace Nicholson (1877-1948) as her residence, galleries, and Treasure House/emporium. Ms. Nicholson’s championing of Asian art early in the century set the tone for much of the Pasadena community's arts-related activities during the ensuing decades. The building also served as the site of the Pasadena Art Museum, which was renowned for its groundbreaking exhibitions of contemporary art. Now the Pacific Asia Museum has combined the spirits of both its predecessors in its focus on the classic and contemporary arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Pacific Asia Museum continues to be a vital resource for education, preserving the community’s cultural heritage and engaging the community in a dialogue about art, history, and culture.

Pacific Asia Museum is housed in a Chinese Qing dynasty inspired mansion. The galleries surround a charming courtyard garden containing a koi pond, rock sculptures, graceful trees and plants that reflect the beauty of the changing seasons. The first cultural center for art, music, lectures and films in Pasadena, the beautiful building is a California State Historic Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The second floor of the museum overlooks the garden and features a conservatory/auditorium and a meeting room with elegant Chinese furniture and décor. If you wish, after dining or meeting, you may enjoy a guided tour of the galleries and garden. Special demonstrations and lectures may be arranged for an additional fee. For more information, contact the Facilities Rental Coordinator at (626) 449-2742 ext. 33.


In its brief history, the museum has organized and presented a number of groundbreaking exhibitions, including the first North American exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art after the Revolution and the first exhibition of Aboriginal art in the United States. Exhibitions originated by the museum have traveled across the country and to Japan. The museum is also committed to scholarship and has produced over fifty exhibition catalogues

Established in 1971, the museum is one of only four U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum’s mission is to bring art and people together for self-discovery, learning, and enjoyment and to promote cross-cultural understanding, illustrating points of connection in an increasingly global community while encouraging inclusiveness and curiosity.