State of the art
And art of the state: The new Pasadena Museum of California Art is just one part of the city's cultural renaissance
The view from the rooftop terrace of Robert and Arlene Oltman’snew Pasadena residence is breathtaking: vistas of Old Pasadenalandmarks―the St. Andrew’s bell tower, city hall’s red-tileddome―with the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop. It’s thesort of scene designed for plein air painters trying to capture thegolden light and Castillian architecture that have long made thecity a favorite artists’ subject.
That is just as it should be. The Oltmans’ new digs sit atoptheir Pasadena Museum of California Art. Opened in June, it’s theonly museum dedicated exclusively to the display of California art,architecture, and design.
The Oltmans bought the empty lot on Union Street several yearsago with the idea of building a facility that could serve as bothmuseum and residence. “Originally it was just going to be a littlemom-and-pop museum,” says Robert Oltman, “but the concept keptgrowing.”