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Grace Hubble, a brilliant woman with a keen wit, led an extraordinary life at the center of Caltech’s intellectual community, with members of the British émigré community in Los Angeles and among Hollywood’s elite. As wife of famed astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, Grace enjoyed access to the minds of many influential people. However, few people today know her story. As with many women of her generation, she existed behind the scenes, the proverbial woman behind the man. Born in 1889 to John and Luella Burke in Walnut, Iowa, Grace was the eldest of two girls. In 1891 the family moved to California eventually settling in Los Angeles where John Burke, vice president of First National Bank, became a prominent member of the community. Living in Hancock Park, Grace and her sister attended the Marlborough School and in 1912 graduated Phi Beta Kappa in English from Stanford University. She was a serious student, but Grace also maintained an active social life. Stanford’s stables and open countryside fostered her love of horses and nature, something she would continue to enjoy during her married years. Her first husband Earl Leib, a geologist for the Southern Pacific Company, died tragically in a mine accident in 1921. That same year Grace accompanied a friend to Mount Wilson Observatory where she met a young astronomer. On February 26, 1924, she married Edwin Hubble in a private ceremony at her home. The newlyweds enjoyed a week at the Burke’s Pebble Beach cottage and later honeymooned in Europe.…

This year, A Noise Within repertory theater company is not only celebrating its 25th anniversary season, but also marking its fifth year bringing a Charles Dickens classic holiday story to the stage. “A Christmas Carol” will open on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. and run until Friday, Dec. 23 at A Noise Within in Pasadena. The theater company’s Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott will once again co-direct the play that Elliott adapted himself from the novella. Rodriguez-Elliott said it’s “amazing” to be producing “A Christmas Carol” for the fifth straight year and it always feels right to put it on at this time of year. “It’s just the right tonic,” she said. “Everyone seems to feel the holiday stress and there’s something about revisiting this incredible story year after year.” “Remounting our acclaimed presentation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ allows families to once again take a supremely theatrical journey and celebrate the transformative power of forgiveness during the holidays,” Geoff Elliott said. “Aside from the moral of the story, it’s a magical experience,” Rodriguez-Elliott added. “Whether you’re 4 years old or 104 years old, there are a lot of surprises and things that can only be done in the theater.” At the end of the production, the actors will come out in costume to take photos with the audience members—both children and adults. Rodriguez-Elliott said she loves seeing families come together to enjoy the theater experience. “A Christmas Carol” is a family experience in itself for…

Friends of Foothill Family recently hosted its “Big Reveal” party at the home of San Marino’s Brett and Michele Canon. Attendees enjoyed dinner from Knead Catering and were then treated to a video presentation which revealed that the 2017 benefit theme will be a Black & White Masked Ball, to be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at The California Club in downtown Los Angeles.

For the first time ever, the China Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The concert, which will be conducted by Long Yu, is planned for Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. and will feature 12-year-old piano prodigy Serena Wang playing along side the CPO. During its third American tour, the CPO will pay tribute to the United States with Czech composer Antonín Dvor̆ák’s “Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World,’” more commonly known as “New World Symphony.” It is Dvor̆ák’s most famous work and is based on what he heard in the U.S. as themes coming from African-American spirituals and Native American rituals. “New World Symphony” officially premiered at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on Dec. 16, 1893. Astronaut Neil Armstrong reportedly took a recording of the symphony on Apollo 11 during the first moon landing in 1969. “We chose Dvor̆ák’s ‘New World Symphony’ because it was written in America and it has lots of American elements,” CPO Concertmaster Chen Yun said. “Actually we played this piece a lot in Asia last year and this year because it’s well-known.” It also won’t be the first time that Serena is performing with the CPO. “Serena is a young and talented pianist,” Yun said. “She first played the ‘Beethoven No. 1’ piano concerto with us when she was 9 years old and her playing is absolutely stunning.” He added that conductor Zubin Mehta, former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in addition to numerous major…

What do Salvador Dalí, Henry Huntington and Teddy Roosevelt have in common? Beyond being some of our greatest thinkers and leaders, all three men have some of the most iconic facial hair in history. In the spirit of ‘No Shave November,’ or ‘Movember’ – a worldwide initiative to raise awareness for prostate cancer – The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is exhibiting ‘A History of Whiskers’ from Nov. 19 to March 7. The 16-piece exhibit will highlight how facial hair has been historically used to craft the identities of famous, influential and powerful men. Presidents, artists and generals alike have used the tacit language of facial hair to garner respect from their peers. Dalí’s gravity-defying ‘stache, for example, was an extension of his surrealist and experimental art, thus further involving the artist himself in his work. Roosevelt’s thick, yet intentional mustache was a tangible manifestation of his most famous mantra, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Huntington’s coiffed mustache reflected his taste for the finer, more curated things, and also highlighted his subtle, indelible smirk. The exhibit will feature two photographs of The Huntington Library’s founder and his trademark facial fuzz. Similar to Dalí and Huntington, artists that paint men with beards and mustaches used facial hair to convey information to viewers. Beards and mustaches provided a visual shorthand to signal everything from personality traits to occupation. ‘A History of Whiskers’ will not only feature historical mustaches, but also give inspiration to those trying to change up…

It’s always City Club’s best-attended meeting of the year, and Tuesday night’s event was every bit as intriguing as the ones which preceded it as close to 200 showed up to see the Tournament of Roses Queen and Royal Court, who paid a visit to the San Marino Center. Waiting for them, and hanging on their every word, were gaggles of local young ladies – nieces, daughters and granddaughters of members – who were able to dine with and later ask questions of royalty. “What’s your favorite food?” “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” “What’s your favorite pizza?” “What’s your favorite sport?” “What’s your favorite Disney Princess?” “What’s your favorite subject in school?” And then this… “What’s your least favorite subject in school?” That one drew a howl from the audience, who seemed as interested as the little ones. “Math” was the #1 answer. The audience also were privy to a fashion show as each Princess (and of course, Queen Victoria Castellanos) paraded through the room in the latest of styles fit for a, well, queen or princess. All the while, San Marino residents Diane Comi and her husband, Bob French, provided introductions and background information on the participants. Princess Autumn Lundy, of Altadena and a senior at Pasadena Poly, was first. Autumn told the audience she wants to attend the University of Oregon and become a nurse practitioner. Princess Audrey Cameron, a senior at Blair High School, mentioned her involvement in the Lake Avenue Community Orchestra and participation on…

Chong Hing Jewelers, a local high-end jewelry retailer, and Patek Philippe – a dominant player in the luxury watch industry – held a private event at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, Oct 6. At the preview event, which was attended by many San Marinans, Patek Philippe unveiled watches that will soon be for sale at Chong Hing stores in San Gabriel, Rowland Heights and Northern California. Larry Pettinelli, president of Patek Philippe USA, commended Chong Hing. “What we were looking for in a partnership was a family business that had and held some of the same virtues that the Stern families [the owners of Patek Philippe] hold dear: loyalty, longevity and a transition to the next generation,” said Pettinelli, recognizing those qualities in the Lee family. Three generations of Lees—the founders, their children and their grandson—were present at the event. “They all have the values we’re looking for and they all represent us as ambassadors,” Pettinelli stated. Recalling his first meeting with Chong Hing’s founders in 1989, Pettinelli said, “When we sat with Mr. and Mrs. Lee, we just felt like they had the shared values that we have. They thought long-term. They were building this business for their kids and their kids and their kids. So we just felt that people who are in it for the long term tend to make less kneejerk reactions,” he recalled. “As ambassadors we are very lucky to have them. Their people are among the best trained in the…

The Huntington’s Orchid Specialist Brandon Tam Shares his Knowledge With The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden’s International Orchid Show & Sale coming up on Oct. 21, Orchid Collection Specialist and Show Director Brandon Tam talks about the upcoming event, his favorite orchid, and how he has merged his work and passion. As Director of the International Orchid Show and an Orchid Specialist, Tam is elated about the upcoming event that will feature prized orchids from around the world. Tam said, “There will be many rare and awarded orchids at the show, brought by exhibitors and vendors from across the United States and seven foreign countries, in addition to those normally on display at The Huntington. We expect to attract particularly fine entries this year since the American Orchid Society will be holding their semi-annual Members Meeting at the show.” Tam is part of the American Orchid Society, whose mission is “to promote the appreciation of orchids, deliver the most up-to-date, accurate, educational information about orchid culture and sponsors research and conservation initiatives to improve the outlook for orchids around the globe.” Tam himself has contributed to the orchid collection at The Huntington, when he “quickly found out that managing two collections at the same time became a challenge. The Huntington has one of the largest Orchid Collections in the United States with more than 10,000 Orchids in the collection.” While he generously donated his collection, he feels thankful that he can visit his collection, “each and every day…

Celebrates 90th Anniversary, Honors Supporters, Staff Some may have believed Foothill Family scheduled its recent 90th anniversary tribute event at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens solely for its premiere location. However, in at least one way, they were actually bringing it back home. “Harriett Huntington Doerr was actually the first president of the board of directors,” said Steve Allen, CEO of Foothill Family. “We looked back into our records and she began serving in 1941. There is a nice connection and it was great to have our event at The Huntington.” Doerr, the granddaughter of Henry & Arabella Huntington, was a renowned author who published her first novel at the age of 74 and was also a noted philanthropist. “It was the perfect setting,” Allen continued. “It was an event to thank and acknowledge our supporters from both the past and present.” Founded in 1926, Foothill Family provides a broad range of community and school-based mental health and social services to at-risk children and families in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys as well as many other communities in between. The organization currently provides assistance to 23,000 individuals and families. Allen, who recently began his 4th year as CEO, isn’t merely a corporate suit charged with raising money – he understands Foothill Family’s goal through first-hand experience. “I was a probation officer back in England and I would listen to the numerous reports in the courtrooms,” Allen explained. “In the case of the children, the story was often…

By Madeline Renn CONTRIBUTOR From the art, to the history, to the gardens, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a place of sophisticated elegance. The Huntington’s opulence then lends itself aptly to a tradition as old as some of the art: a black-tie ball. The inaugural Huntington Ball was held in 1974 for members of the Society of Fellows. The Society was established a year prior as a donor group to support The Huntington’s research and educational programs. To this day, the Ball is dedicated to supporting The Huntington’s programs. The black-tie gala was not meant to be an annual event, but popularity soon made it one. The 1974 Ball was held inside The Huntington Art Gallery, the Beaux Arts mansion that was originally home to the founders, Henry and Arabella Huntington. However, the gala moved outdoors as the guest list grew. In 1989, the Arabella Ball was held in honor of the lady of the house’s birthday at the request of the under-40 Huntington Society of Junior Fellows. A reincarnated “Arabella” made an appearance at her gala, thanking attendees for “your support…we both usually have a quiet celebration of my birthday in the mausoleum, so this is a treat.” The Junior Fellows ended the night with Arabella’s birthday cake and a chorus of happy birthday. The Huntington Ball and Arabella Ball were merged into a single, annual black-tie affair several years later. In 2012, invitations were extended to all Huntington members, and now all are invited…