LA Fridays with Bob and Tom: Museum of Neon Art

LA Fridays with Bob and Tom

 Week 136. Museum of Neon Art

This week we visited the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California, encouraging learning, curiosity and expression through the preservation, collection and interpretation of neon, electric and kinetic art since 1981.  Several neon art works and signs are on display, including a huge Chinese dragon, numerous bar signs, and neon signs advertising shop keepers.  Neon, derived from the Greek word for “new”, was the first noble gas widely used in luminous tubing. Though most commercial tubes are filled with argon and mercury, neon has become synonymous with luminous tubing.  Neon signs and artworks are comprised of glass tubing softened over flame and bent by skilled craftspeople.  After cooling the tubes are pumped with noble gases and electrified.  Classes are offered by the museum including Neon Immersive, Introduction to Neon Art, and Bend Blow & Glow.  You can experience the entire process of bending neon, from glass to glow.  Learn all the skills necessary to design and assemble your own neon sculpture or sign.

Plenty of parking.  Staff is very friendly and helpful if you have questions.



Robert (Bob) is a PhD physicist whose career has spanned academia, government and private industry. As a faculty member of the Department of Physics at the University of Tennessee, a Branch Chief at the United States Department of Energy and Vice President of an American International Group Company, his scientific endeavors include radiation physics, environmental research, environmental insurance and nanotechnology.

Originally from the East Coast, Bob was seduced by his sons and their families (and the California weather) to leave Washington, DC after retiring in 2010. While recovering from culture shock, Bob found many outlets to reconcile his eclectic interests. As a member of Senior Scholars for over six years he continues to take courses in a myriad of subjects ranging from film to art history to brain science and finds great intellectual and social rewards in Senior Scholars and the Plato Society.

As a latent artist, he sketches scenes about town once a week with an artist friend from his college days and is attempting to learn to play the electric guitar.

On moving to Los Angeles, he found Tom Jacobson, another recent transplant. They became great friends and decided to explore their new town together leading to over 113 sites in our city. Dubbed “LA Fridays with Bob and Tom” they are happy to share their experiences with others.

Bob lives in Brentwood with Phyllis, his wife of 56 years, an education policy executive. They have two sons and four grandchildren, one of whom plays a guitar a lot better than Bob.



Thomas (Tom) is an attorney who practiced trial and constitutional law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born in 1938 in Bamberg Germany, he was one of the youngest passengers on the ill-fated voyage of the Damned, the SS St. Louis, turned away from Cuba in 1939.

Tom represented local civil rights activists and Dick Gregory and twice argued cases successfully in the United States Supreme Court. In 1970 he was the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General.

Retiring in 2008, he and wife, Peggy, moved to California to join their two sons and four grandchildren, and enjoy the warm weather.

Tom has kept busy as a member of Senior Scholars and Plato for the last six years keeping his brain stimulated and active. Yoga and swimming have kept his body in shape.