Batchelder: Tilemaker and Cast & Fired: Pasadena's Mid-Century Ceramics Industry Extended Due to Popular Demand

On View at Pasadena Museum of History through March 12, 2017

Published : Monday, January 9, 2017 | 9:06 PM

Batchelder: Tilemaker, the first local retrospective dedicated solely to the life and work of the influential artist and educator Ernest A. Batchelder, and Cast & Fired: Pasadena’s Mid-Century Ceramics Industry, which reveals how Pasadena/Southern California became a world leader in pottery and ceramics production, have been extended at Pasadena Museum of History and will remain on view through March 12, 2017. These extraordinarily popular companion exhibitions showcase the major roles this region’s ceramics artists played in early- and mid- twentieth century design.

Important new additions to these exhibits were recently added.

• Bluebeard sketch/tile – This sketch is thought to be the only known design sketch for a Batchelder tile. It was found in the front of a scrapbook of cartoons drawn by Ernest Batchelder for his son, Alan. The Bluebeard tile first appeared in the 1912 Batchelder catalog. Batchelder later made several more tiles that illustrated scenes from children’s fairy tales. This sketch is currently on display in Batchelder: Tilemaker, where you can also see an actual Bluebeard tile, preserved from the original Batchelder fireplace in the children’s room of the South Pasadena Public Library.

• Corbel: Fiddler tile – (Unmarked; Design in 1920 catalog, #155Loan courtesy of Charles Mauch)This rare corbel completes theMusicians corbel series on display in the case opposite. The original four Musicians (Lute Player, Cymbal Player, Trumpeter, and Singer)were published in Batchelder’s first catalogue in 1912. The fifth musician was added in 1920.

• Chocolate Shop (Los Angeles) VR tour. This 3-D immersive tour created by Matterport joins the VR tour of Ernest Batchelder’s Pasadena home/studio in the exhibit. The Chocolate Shop, located at 217 West 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles, was Batchelder’s first large commercial commission in 1914. He and his assistant Anne Harnett had only five days to make the designs and provide samples before they were awarded the $65,000 contract. The floor, ceiling and walls are completely covered with Batchelder tiles, including twenty-two custom murals depicting Dutch genre scenes. A portion of one mural is currently on loan, for the first time ever, to the exhibit.

• Cast & Fired exhibittion booklet, with an exhibit checklist and company biographies, is now published by the Museum and available to the public

• Batchelder: Tilemaker by Robert Winter, Ph.D., originally published in 1999, has been reprinted by Pasadena Museum of History exclusively for this exhibition and is available in the Museum Store.

In addition, two related programs have been announced in conjunction with these exhibits.

Tuesday, January 26, 6:00 pm – Caring for Batchelder: Methods & Materials for Repairing and Cleaning Decorative Tile with conservator Amy Green, and

Tuesday, February 7, 6:00 pm – Henry Chapman Mercer: The Moravian Pottery & Tileworks of Doylestown, Pennsylvania with Farely Tobin, ceramic artist and tilemaker.

For further information on these programs and for online ticket purchases, please visit the PMH website at

The exhibits will be on view at Pasadena Museum of History from 12:00 to 5:00 pm Wednesdays through Sundays through Sunday, March 12, 2017. Pasadena Museum of History is located at 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena. Visit or call (626) 577-1660 for additional details.



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