"Venerable" Shakespeare Club Visits Museum of History Exhibit

Published : Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | 3:12 PM

Shakespeare Club member and artist Celeste deCoudres. Photo by Janell Papik

A contingent of the Shakespeare Club visited the Pasadena Museum of History’s current exhibition “Starting Anew” which tells the story of the early arrivers and shapers of the city. Brad McNeil, the Museum’s Director of Education, was an informative and dynamic guide. Several artifacts loaned by the Shakespeare Club helped show the social, cultural, civic involvements and shaping of the city by women and the important role of women’s clubs at the time. The painting of the Shakespeare Club Villa by current club member and artist Celeste DeCoudres was featured in the exhibit as well as one of the Tournament of Roses trophies the club won for its 1931 float.

Early members of the club were portrayed as influencers throughout other parts of the exhibit. During the heyday of the resort hotels, several ladies joined the club as seasonal guests in the city and the club’s membership soared. Its 1902-1904 President Anna L. Meeker was quoted in the first display regarding why people came to Pasadena: “I like sunshine air; cultured and refined people; an honest press and an honest city government; clean streets and clean morals; therefore I like Pasadena.” The merchant section contained a photograph of Nash Department Store on Colorado Boulevard which was the family business of club founder Lydia Nash.

The city of Pasadena was founded in 1886. Two years later the Shakespeare Club was founded in 1888. To this day the club remains active, involved, and vivacious, continuing to draw interested and interesting women to join its membership and participate in its community projects.

The Shakespeare Club’s Philanthropy Committee is currently at work creating “Enchanted Garden”, the theme for this year’s Fashion Show. The annual fashion show which supports scholarships to graduating seniors from the city’s public high schools will take place April 4, 2020 and the public is invited to attend. Ticketing Information is available at shakespeareclub423@gmail.com .

The public is also invited to an afternoon with Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women” – actually a dramatic, historic character portrayal of the author by Valerie Weich. This event, which takes place at the Shakespeare Club Villa, is sponsored by the Pasadena Museum of History and tickets are available through their website pasadenahistory.org.






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