photography exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History. I'm sorry to spring this on you at the last minute but it's closing, so you have to go today.
Helen Lukens Gaut was a self-taught photographer and journalist who lived in Pasadena and Highland Park in the early 20th Century. Her father, Theodore Parker Lukens, was mayor of Pasadena. Twice. The family's Victorian home still stands on N. El Molino.
Gaut loved Pasadena architecture and photographed a lot of it. She even designed a bungalow and apparently one, or some, of her designs were built in Bungalow Heaven.
I wish there had been a book based on the exhibit so I could take it around with me and compare the then to the now. That's probably too expensive an undertaking for our small and homey museum. The museum shop's book section is impressive, though--they carry books about Pasadena history I had once thought hard to find, including some about the native Tongva, architecture, etc. I bought a book by Ann Scheid called Downtown Pasadena's Early Architecture. That's right up my refurbished, Old Town alley.
I feel a kinship with Helen Lukens Gaut. She was born in Rock Falls, Illinois, not far from where I grew up in DeKalb. She loved to write and take photos (moi aussi), she loved to travel (that's me) and she was interested in architecture (me again). And she died the year I was born. Somehow that doesn't surprise me. It's certainly not reincarnation. I might just call it carrying on.