The Gamble House of Pasadena…
Right off Orange Grove Boulevard in gorgeous Pasadena, is The Gamble House, a California state landmark built in 1908. Renowned architects for their time, Greene & Greene were the brain children behind this beautiful home resided by David B. Gamble of Procter & Gamble, & is filled with Victorian style wood work (using the teak, maple, oak, Port Orford, Cedar, and mahogany) & Japanese influenced pieces, making the home a true masterpiece piece of art. Being yet another museum I had not yet visited, I finally was able to mark The Gamble Home off my bucket list last week & already cannot wait to return.
While the house on its own has so much to see, ohh & ahh, I was treated to a tour with artist, Mark Allen, whose art project, Machine, is currently in residence at The Gamble. I was thrilled to learn that the City of Pasadena & University of Southern California (Who own the museum) is so welcoming of mixing old with the new as they always have some kind of exciting event or new art venture hosting at The Gamble House.
From the press release:
“As part of this year’s Art and Science (AxS) Festival in Pasadena, whose theme is ‘Curiosity’, the Gamble House has collaborated with the Pasadena Arts Council and Machine Project of Los Angeles to present a special 17-day artist intervention in Pasadena’s world-renowned historic landmark. You will experience the Gamble House as never before – through the work and performance of contemporary artists in an exciting variety of forms and media. From night-time lighting shows and a “secret” restaurant, to psychic readings, bedroom conversations, group naps, dance, and installations of paintings, ceramics, wood, and metal, you will find plenty of opportunities both to spark and satisfy your curiosity, using all five of your senses (maybe even a sixth)!
Special artist-led workshops and tours will explore details of the life of the Gamble family, the crafts of letter-writing and embroidery, the technology and craftsmanship of the Gamble House, and even an opportunity to make your own soap (a tribute to the family firm of Procter & Gamble and its famed Ivory soap)!
AxS [ak-sis] explores the nexus of artistic and scientific inquiry, promoting experimentation and cross-fertilization between these disciplines. The interplay between human curiosity, scientific investigation and artistic risk-taking reflects a cultural zeitgeist that not only defines Pasadena as the City of Art and Science, but also illuminates the richness, diversity, and sheer innovation of human aspiration and achievement in the 21st century.”
Mark led such a great tour for those returning to the home, & newbies like myself. He began his tour by mentioning something that is indeed very noticeable: The entire home is about transitions. Whether it’s the stairs leading up to your next destination, or each room having its own vibe of either Japanese art or even new art work grandfathered in, the home is an evolving journey, & you can feel the rich history within their walls.
Much like The Winchester House, I definitely could feel that the spirits were present. We learned that Aunt Julia, Mary Gamble’s sister who lived at the house, is said to be the friendly ghost of the premises. Mark’s artistic partner, Asher Hartman, is a great psychic whom we were treated to see a glimpse of his video now showing at the house in which he can sense the past people who have been within the house, like Aunt Julia.
Some might not know (I didn’t!), that The Gamble House is a great weekend destination full of activity for everyone quite often; between psychic readings for the public from Asher, workshops like “The Craft of Letter Writing” & “Soap Making” classes (In honor of Proctor & Gamble product, Ivory Soap), as well as open houses, family events & a popular “Secret Restaurant” series, The Gamble House is an awesome spot to check out next time you’re in Pasadena. Find out more on their web-site HERE. xo
(Special thanks to The Gamble House for inviting me to be apart of this tour.)