Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on May 2nd, 2017
Grace Nicholson: "The Treasure House."

The Treasure House
"The Treasure House"
Photo: uscpacificasiamuseum.wordpress.com

In Pasadena, California there is a remarkable two story building, "The Treasure House," that has captivated people for 92-years.

Today, this building houses the USC Pacific Asia Museum, attracting thousands of people each year to see its magnificent Asian art collection.

But the story of Grace Nicholson, who built The Treasure House, is at least as interesting.

(Story continues from "Read More")

Born in Philadelphia in 1877, Grace was orphaned as a child, and lived with various family members.

In 1901, as a woman alone, 23-year-old Grace, moved 3,000 miles to Pasadena and opened a small store, selling Native-American arts and crafts.

Grace Nicholson
Grace Nicholson
Photo: uscpacificasiamuseum.wordpress.com

This was nearly 20-years before U.S. women could vote, own property, or obtain credit or borrow money without the signature of a man.

None of this stopped Grace.

As she made money, she reinvested it in her business, employing Native Americans or buying arts and crafts from Native Tribes, or local dealers, and selling it on the East Coast.

Grace became so close to Native-Americans, she socialized with them and paid for eye-surgery for one person and college tuition for another.

But eventually, Grace focused on Asian art. and in 1924, using Chinese architecture, began building The Treasure House.

When it opened in 1925, it became a landmark, yet one in which Grace conducted her business downstairs, and lived upstairs.

During her career, Grace represented many private collectors, and also prestigious institutions such as the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC and the Field Museum in Chicago.

The beautiful courtyard of the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena
The beautiful courtyard of the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena
Photo: travelswithmaitaitom.com

In older age, Grace donated The Treasure House to the city of Pasadena as a gift to the public, and she continued to live and work there until her passing in 1948.

By then, Grace had become a Buddhist.

She found peace in beauty, including what is well known to enthusiasts of The Treasure House, an outdoor courtyard in the center of the museum.

In this courtyard is a meditative garden, and koi pond, irresistible to those who arrive in search of peace, a gift from Grace, and from The Treasure House’s many supporters.

Editor's Note:To learn more, please see uscpacificasiamuseum.wordpress.com, wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Nicholson, wikipedia.org/Pacific_Asia_Museum and pacificasiamuseum.org/

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