The Norton Simon Museum
The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is a magical way to spend a weekday or weekend afternoon. The museum’s manageable size gives you the opportunity to view such masterpieces as Vincent van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree, or Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose by Francisco de Zurbaran, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, by Edgar Degas and other notable works in the course of several hours.
World renowned as one of the greatest private art collections ever assembled, the Norton Simon Museum has on view approximately 1,000 works from its permanent collection of 12,000 spread throughout its galleries and sculpture garden. There are three temporary exhibition spaces which feature rotating installations of artwork not on permanent display.
The private museum, founded in 1922 and originally named the Pasadena Art Insitute, opened its doors displaying mostly American and European art, in addition to hosting shows by California artists. In 1953, the museum received a bequest of almost 500 artworks from the estate of Galka E. Scheyer, whose collection included works by Kandinsky, Klee, Jawlensky and Feininger. New purchases included several modern artists and by the 1970s, the museum was renamed Pasadena Museum of Modern Art.
In 1974, following a period of new construction and renovations, financial difficulties arose and museum trustees reached an agreement with industrialist and art collector Norton Simon, and the institution was named the Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena. Simon had amassed an astonishing collection over a 30-year period, including European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and contemporary art from Europe and the United States acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum also occupies an important place in the museum’s collections.
Hours and Admission
The museum is open every day (except Tuesday) from noon to 6 p.m., and Fridays from noon to 9 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors ($7 for seniors beginning January 1, 2012). Members, students with I.D. and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Unless otherwise stated, events are free with admission and no reservations are required. Admission is free for all visitors the first Friday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. The museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking is free.
Spotlight talks, 20-minute discussions of individual works offered every Saturday at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., are free. Free one-hour guided tours of the museum are offered on the first Friday (6 to 7 p.m. and 7 to 8 pm.) and the last Sunday (1 to 2 p.m.) of every month. Private tours can be arranged for a fee and must be scheduled two weeks in advance. Call the Education Department at 626-844-6980.
Located in the Museum’s celebrated and serene sculpture garden, the Garden Café offers daily specials and a variety of fresh salads, sandwiches, baked goods and beverages.
Norton Simon Museum
411 West Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105 626-449-6840 • www.nortonsimon.org
Take the I-10 west for about 70 miles. Take Exit 42 to merge onto CA-57 north toward the 210 Freeway. Take Exit 25C (on the left) and merge onto I-210 West/ Foothill Freeway toward Pasadena. Take Exit 25A toward Fair Oaks Ave. S., merge onto Maple S. Turn right at W. Colorado Blvd.