Norton Simon Museum Art Museum Pasadena California

Pasadena, California is the home of one of the most renowned collections of art in the world. Over a thirty year period, Norton Simon collected works of art from all over the world and from various eras as his private collection. Some of these works of art date back thousands of years. Hailed as one of the best private art collections in the world, the Norton Simon Museum, named for the industrialist collector, now holds over 12,000 pieces. One thousand of these are on display for viewing in the galleries and gardens of the museums, including works of art previously acquired by the Pasadena Art Museum.

In addition to the permanent displays of art, the Norton Simon Museum features temporary exhibitions in the three galleries devoted to this use. The galleries are divided into sections depending on the displays, such as Asian Art, Modern and Contemporary, and European Art from three time periods: from the 14th to the 16th century, from the 17th to the 18th century and from the 19th century.

The Asian Art collection comes mainly from South and Southeast and offers visitors a unique look at the cultures and traditions of this part of the world. The collection of Japanese woodblock prints features many of the pieces of Frank Lloyd Wright. Monumental stone sculpture from the Gupta and Kushana periods will enable you to see some of the sights of the country without having to travel abroad. There is art from just about every country in southern and southeastern Asia so that you have a fairly comprehensive view of the art mediums used through the centuries.

Masters of the arts make up the collection of European art from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Here you can see the work of Renaissance painters and sculptors in the many religious paintings as well as gold-ground panel paintings. The pieces of art in this collection represent the diversity of art that existed in this period in history and give visitors a look at what was considered important and acceptable subjects at the time.

Move on to the gallery of European art from the 17th and 18th centuries where you will see the difference in the art and art mediums from the Middle Ages. This collection includes Baroque paintings from Spain and paintings by such greats as Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Possin. The Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose by Zurbaran, dating back to 1633, is regarded as one of the most important paintings in the museum.

Pablo Picasso and Diego Revero are just two of the famous artists of the world whose works are on permanent display in the Modern and Contemporary Gallery of the Norton Simon Museum. The post-war collection, while noteworthy for its collage works, is not always on display. Californian art from the 1950’s to the 1970’s also has a place in this museum featuring works by such artists as Sam Francis and Larry Bell.

Located at 411 W. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California, the Norton Simon Museum is closed on Tuesdays. It is open on the other days of the week from noon until 6 p.m. and stays open until 9 p.m. on Friday evenings. Adults pay only $8 for admission and the rate for seniors is reduced to half that price. Students and visitors under the age of 18 are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday evening of each month.