Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Nicholson, Grace, -1948.

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role Collector Dealer/Gallery
dates 1877-1948
city Pasadena
other citiesPhiladelphia, PA;
sex F
historical notes Grace Nicholson (d. 1948) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia in 1877. Partly because of her health but also because of a desire for adventure in the West, Nicholson arrived in Pasadena, California in 1901. With some borrowed money she opened up her own shop to sell Native American wares. By January of 1902 she was purchasing Native American baskets and other items in association with Carrol S. Hartman. She traveled throughout Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.

With the popularity of the wares of Native Americans waning, combined with higher prices and a lack of supply, Nicholson moved on to another passion of hers, Asian art. In 1931 she built her home/store/gallery at 46 N. Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, which was designed and constructed after a Chinese temple. In 1943 Nicholson offered her Los Robles building to the Pasadena Art Institute which eventually became the Pasdena Art Musuem and is now the Pacific Asia Museum. Getting on in years, Nicholson left the care of her shop to her assistants Thyra H. Maxwell and Estelle Bynum. From February 1948 onwards she suffered from a lengthy illness and passed away on August 31, 1948.

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updated 03/22/2024 12:09:30
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
Grace Nicholson Papers, 1822-1951, bulk 1902-1948 see details...