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The Margaret N. Palmer Collection of Pacificulture Foundation Papers
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  • The Margaret N. Palmer Collection of the Pacificulture Foundation Papers
  • Administrative Information:
  • Abstract/Scope and Content:
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  • The Margaret N. Palmer Collection of the Pacificulture Foundation Papers

    Collection number: L2013-07-18
    Title: The Margaret N. Palmer Collection of the Pacificulture Foundation Papers
    Dates: 1955-1991
    Bulk: 1960-1970
    Extent: 13 Boxes
    Repository: Pasadena Museum of History
    Research Library and Archives
    470 West Walnut Street
    Pasadena, California 91103-3594
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information:

    Acquisition Information:

    Personal and professional papers created and collected by Margaret N. Palmer were gifted to the Pasadena Museum of History by her family.


    Additional materials may be added to this collection as donations are received.


    Access: Collections are open to the public for research. Use is restricted by rules intended to protect and preserve the materials in good condition for the future. For additional information please contact the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Publication Rights:

    Use of the materials is governed by all applicable copyright law. The Pasadena Museum of History reserves the right to restrict any materials from reproduction at any time. Property rights reside with the Pasadena Museum of History. The Museum's physical ownership of the materials in its collection does not imply ownership of copyright. It is the user's responsibility to resolve any copyright issues related to the use and distribution of reproduced materials. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Preferred Citation:

    Margaret N. Palmer Collection of Pacificulture Foundation Papers. Gift of Margaret N. and Everett A. Palmer. Courtesy of the Research Library and Archives at the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Biography/Organization History

    Biographical Note:

    Margaret Ann Niedringhaus (Peg Palmer) was born at her family home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 6, 1915. Peg attended Thurston School and studied art at Carnegie Tech. She later specialized in Art History and Design at Parsons in New York. Upon completion Peg worked for Bulletin Index, a women’s magazine in Pittsburgh. She married Everett Arthur Palmer, Jr. in 1941 and started a family shortly thereafter. In 1946, they moved to Pasadena, California and settled into the Linda Vista area where they enjoyed an active life within the community.
    Peg inherited a love for the arts and expressed an unending commitment to community-building projects. She played an instrumental role in developing art councils and civic committees throughout the San Gabriel Valley. She is, perhaps, most recognized for her efforts to help establish the Pacificulture Foundation,(PCF) now the Pacific Asia Museum, (PAM) in Pasadena, California. Peg Palmer, and her fellow board members, created an institution that promoted mutual respect and understanding through art expressions from Asia and the Pacific Islands. She believed that an appreciation of foreign cultures could serve as a creative force to forming a more harmonious world. Peg Palmer is a founding board member of the Pacificulture Foundation and served as president from 1970 to 1971.

    Historical Note:

    The Pacific Asia Museum has served the city of Pasadena since 1971 as a vibrant center for learning and remains devoted to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Its origins date to 1960, when a progressive group of southern California residents sought to promote intellectual understanding through the preservation of art and culture. The group adopted the name Pacificulture Foundation to represent the flow of ideas and influences across the Pacific. They prospered under creative leaders and sponsors who hosted diverse exhibitions and programs in various venues throughout Pasadena.
    As PCF advanced, they looked to Grace Nicholson’s iconic Chinese imperial palace-style building for a permanent residence. The City of Pasadena acquired the building in 1943 under the condition that it remains a center for culture and education. The proviso made the Pacificulture Foundation an ideal candidate for residency. After much petitioning, the City of Pasadena offered PCF a lease. On the evening of October 28, 1971 the director and Board of Trustees officially dedicated the Grace Nicholson Building to the Pacificulture Foundation and Asia Museum. In 1979, the Pacificulture Foundation changed its name to the Pacific Asia Museum.
    The traditions set forth by the founding members established the Pacific Asia Museum as an extraordinary place for scholarship, diplomacy and art. It remains committed to exploring the arts and celebrating cultural traditions of Asia and the Pacific Islands through dynamic exhibitions, seminars, and festivals.

    Abstract/Scope and Content:

    The Margaret N. Palmer Collection of Pacificulture Foundation Papers covers a range of institutional records and activities during the formative years of the Pacificulture Foundation. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1960 through the 1970s. It consists of administrative records, correspondence, publicity, exhibition brochures, photographs, and ephemera. A complementary collection is housed at the Pacific Asia Museum.

    Key to Arrangement/Container List:

    The collection consists of material created and collected by Margaret N. Palmer and it is organized according to an organizational chart for the Pacificulture Foundation. It is divided into five series with a sub-series of relevant dependent entities. The collection arrangement is listed below:
    Series: Box
    Margaret N. Palmer (Peg Palmer), 195- - 2011 1
    History, 1955-1970s 2
    Administration - Pacificulture Foundation, 1960s-1990s 3-9
    Board of Directors  
    Grace Nicholson Building  
    Humanities – Pacificulture, 1960s-1980s 10-12
    Council & Committees  
    Arts – Asia Museum, 1960s-1980s 13
    Acquisitions & Operations  

    Controlled Access Headings:

    Personal Names:

    Margaret N. Palmer (Peg Palmer)
    Lennox Tierney
    David Kamansky
    Sofia Adamson
    Nancy Wheat
    Jae Carmichael
    Grace Nicholson
    Sujata & Asoka
    Elise Grilli
    John Crowley

    Corporate Names:

    Pacificulture Foundation
    Pacific Asia Museum
    Grace Nicholson Building
    Pasadena Sister City
    Pasadena Art Museum
    Pasadena Society of Artists

    Place Names:

    Pasadena, California