Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Rose King of Pasadena Passes Away

As I was dashing out the door yesterday to attend the memorial service for Pasadena’s florist, Jacob Maarse, I glanced at the Pasadena Star News’ very complimentary article on Bob Ray Offenhauser. Bob is perhaps Pasadena’s most renowned living architect, and he and his wife, Katherine, were the first people I happened to run into at the service. Katherine has just finished a coffee-table-size book called “An Architect’s Journey” all about Bob’s impressive 50 year career (available on Amazon). Bob has created some of the most spectacular homes all over the world, and has built the elaborate botanical conservatory at The Huntington Library and is presently working on the Japanese Tea House there.

The memorial service for Jacob Maarse was held at All Saints Church in Pasadena. The pews were packed and the floral arrangements rivaled the church’s original Tiffany stained glass windows. Through Jacob’s daughter, Mona Delahooke’s eulogy, we learned that Jacob’s love for flowers started early in life. As a Dutch teenager, he would escape the occupying Nazi’s notice by hiding in a flower nursery. After coming to the U.S., Jacob soon became Pasadena’s most celebrated florist through his hard work, creativity, generosity and genuine love for people. I have always respected him as a fine artist. Jacob Maarse has given so much beauty, love and compassion to this world, and that’s something to which, I, as an artist, aspire. The Reverend George Regas stated, “Pasadena has had many Rose Queens, but only one Rose King.”
Flowers at the service

All Saints Church in Pasadena has an old-world feeling.  I particularly love the Tiffany stained glass windows and the way light streams through them. This is one of my paintings of the interior.
 After the Service at All Saints Church   Oil on panel    24” x 20”

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