Closed Mondays: The Pacific Asia Museum

Los Angeles is home to some of the most magnificent museums in the country. Amongst the excitement of LACMA and the glamour of the Getty, some of the smaller museums go unnoticed. Let's visit the overlooked, the obscure, and even the unusual. If we're lucky, they won't even be closed Mondays.

The Pacific Asia Museum sits unobtrusively on a corner of Los Robles in Pasadena, the front door hidden by trees. The points of the roof and a large mural beg a second look. According to the website, the museum inhabits a historic building "constructed in 1924 by pioneering collector and entrepreneur Grace Nicholson." In the center of the museum lies a restful courtyard. Blooming lotus and three enormous koi add to the picturesque scene.

The permanent collection contains relics spanning more than four thousand years from the far reaches of Asia and the Pacific, including Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and the Pacific islands. A variety of doorways lead to ceramics, textiles, decorative arts, Buddhist and Hindu religious icons and visiting collections. They also have an interactive area for children, but I dare you to resist donning a colorful turban.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We suggest you don't miss China Modern: Designing Popular Culture, 1910-1970, on display until February 2011. They also offer weekly classes in subject such as yoga and Chinese brush painting, book signings, lectures, performances, and more.