Norton Simon Museum

Norton Simon Museum The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. http://www.nortonsimon.org/
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“Speaking of blue (see my last post), the interesting thing about our new LED lighting system is how it can accentuate b...
05/07/2020

“Speaking of blue (see my last post), the interesting thing about our new LED lighting system is how it can accentuate blue pigments in our works on view. It’s subtle, but enough to reveal how Maurice-Quentin de La Tour used blue paper to its full advantage in setting the cool atmosphere in his self portrait. Curator Gloria Williams Sander and I recently had the chance to examine this exquisite pastel out of its frame. To our delight, we were able to document how it remains stretched on its original wooden strainer. The edges had once been protected with several layers of pasted paper, including some French-language newsprint. These brittle layers have flaked away to reveal bits of the original, un-faded blue paper, protected for more than 250 years from light. Ultraviolet light reveals how the artist worked to allow the blue hue of the paper to show through the pastel, especially on the chin.”–John G⁣.⁣⁣⁣
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Curious about museum conservation? Join us for a new series with our Conservator John Griswold about his projects at the Museum.⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Maurice-Quentin de La Tour (French, 1704–1788), Self-Portrait, 1764, pastel on paper, Norton Simon Art Foundation⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

Sending our appreciation to all of the medical staff working right now to keep us all safe and well.Did you know the Mus...
05/06/2020

Sending our appreciation to all of the medical staff working right now to keep us all safe and well.

Did you know the Museum regularly hosts nursing students from Mount St. Mary’s University for a training program called “Looking Is Not Seeing”? Clinical observation is essential in nursing, and spending time looking at art in a museum helps students slow down and improve their observational and assessment skills. When nursing students slow down and look at an artwork together, they see how one person can notice something everyone else has missed, and they gain the confidence to speak up when they notice something amiss in a clinical setting. That confidence, can make all the difference for a patient.

On #NationalNursesDay, read more about "Looking Is Not Seeing" at the Museum: bit.ly/35DJxci

Staff Pick: Gloria Williams Sander, Curator: In these days of social distancing, I realize what a hub of sensations the ...
05/05/2020

Staff Pick: Gloria Williams Sander, Curator: In these days of social distancing, I realize what a hub of sensations the farmer’s market offered me. There is the purely visual pleasure of the layout: the produce, the patrons and the farmers. My sense of smell awoke to the fragrance of fresh picked fruits and flowers; I enjoyed the tasting opportunities that introduced me to the season’s best offerings.

This robustly painted still life by Frans Snyders reminds me of visiting the farmer’s market and, in its abundant display, it too evokes the fives senses.

[Frans Snyders (Flemish, 1579–1657), Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables, 1625–35, oil on canvas, The Norton Simon Foundation]

#VirtualVacation: Seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painters like Salomon van Ruysdael found beauty close to home. Tho...
05/04/2020

#VirtualVacation: Seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painters like Salomon van Ruysdael found beauty close to home. Though this painting is small—only 11-¼ x 15-½ inches—it captures the natural drama of the West Haarlem dunes. Ruysdael’s muted, silvery color palette creates a sense of the Netherlands’ unique coastal atmosphere. The vantage point is low, as if we are also standing on the sandy road, watching billowing clouds race overhead.

We are all staying close to home these days, and we hope you find beauty wherever you are!

[Salomon van Ruysdael (Dutch, 1602/3–1670), Landscape with Sandy Road, 1628, oil on panel, The Norton Simon Foundation]

Curious about museum conservation? Join us for a new series with our Conservator John Griswold about his projects at the...
05/01/2020

Curious about museum conservation? Join us for a new series with our Conservator John Griswold about his projects at the Museum.

“The surface of this beautifully carved sculptural relief of the Hindu god Vishnu stands out because of its rich blue hue, perhaps added as a devotional ritual many centuries after it was carved. This has always intrigued me, because I’ve seen that blue before on artifacts and sculpture from disparate cultures, including Native American regalia, East African effigies, objects from Papua New Guinea, and indigenous Australian rock art. Traditionally designated as “indigo pigment” in our archives, I wonder if this is yet another example of a 19th-century laundry aid like Reckitt’s Blue, having found its way around the globe as an inexpensive, easily traded cube of synthetic blue pigment. The practice of adding blue coloring, often mixed with starch in the wash to counteract the natural yellowing of white textiles, predates the 17th century and continues to this day. Stay tuned for possible future analysis.”–John G.

Happy #InternationalDanceDay! Like this dancer, Degas’s pictures of the ballet hover precariously between the magic of t...
04/29/2020

Happy #InternationalDanceDay! Like this dancer, Degas’s pictures of the ballet hover precariously between the magic of the footlights and the realities of life backstage. We watch this performance in close-up, either through a pair of opera glasses or from the wings, to which Degas, an elite subscriber at the Paris Opéra, enjoyed access.⁣

The dancer’s pose—a piqué en attitude—cannot be sustained for more than a second or two at a time; this fact may explain the confused relationship between her legs and torso, which Degas joined with an awkward puff of tulle beneath her tutu.⁣

His model for this figure was Melina Darde, a teenaged member of the corps de ballet, transformed, by the artist’s imagination, into a glimmering, gas-lit star.⁣
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Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), The Star: Dancer on Pointe, c. 1878–1880, gouache and pastel on paper, mounted on board, The Norton Simon Foundation⁣

#MuseumFromHome #EdgarDegas #NortonSimon

What tools do you need to work from home?This painting depicts the drafting tools of an 18th-century architect, includin...
04/28/2020

What tools do you need to work from home?

This painting depicts the drafting tools of an 18th-century architect, including a straightedge, ink pens, reference books and a compass. The centrally placed Ionic capital serves no practical purpose in the workspace, but rather functions as a symbol of classical architecture, which was in fashion at the time.

Duvivier studied with the renowned still life painter Chardin (1699–1779), who also depicted ensembles of objects meant to represent artistic disciplines such as architecture, music and painting. Chardin’s “Attributes of the Architect” (c. 1725–1727) at the Princeton University Art Museum is a predecessor of Duvivier’s painting. These works were often created as a series, and were used to decorate the studies of elite patrons.

[Thomas-Germain-Joseph Duvivier (French, 1735–1814), An Architect’s Table, 1772, oil on canvas, Norton Simon Art Foundation]

#Duvivier #WFH #Architecture #Chardin #MuseumFromHome #NortonSimon

"The masters must be copied over and over again," Edgar Degas said, "and it is only after proving yourself a good copyis...
04/26/2020

"The masters must be copied over and over again," Edgar Degas said, "and it is only after proving yourself a good copyist that you should reasonably be permitted to draw a radish from nature."⁣⁣
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✏️ Join us for this week's challenge: Portraiture⁣⁣
🎨 Artwork: Rembrandt's Self-Portrait, c. 1636–38⁣⁣
📲 Tag & share: @nortonsimon & #NortonSimon⁣⁣
🤗 Have fun!⁣

#MuseumFromHome #Rembrandt #NortonSimon

Widely considered one of the most influential artists of his time, Peter Paul Rubens was known for his dramatic, sensual...
04/24/2020

Widely considered one of the most influential artists of his time, Peter Paul Rubens was known for his dramatic, sensual and colorful style which came to epitomize the Flemish Baroque. In this portrait, Anne of Austria, Queen of France, dons a cerulean-hued gown, embroidered with fleur-de-lys and topped with a lace "Medici collar" around her neck. The bejeweled cross and abundance of pearls signify her wealth, purity, and piety.⁣⁣⁣
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Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640), Portrait of Anne of Austria, Queen of France, c. 1622–25, oil on canvas, Norton Simon Foundation⁣⁣⁣

“Je t'aime mon petit chou!” / I love you my little cabbage!Francois Boucher’s “Beautiful Country Woman,” c. 1732, may be...
04/23/2020

“Je t'aime mon petit chou!” / I love you my little cabbage!

Francois Boucher’s “Beautiful Country Woman,” c. 1732, may be one of the most beautifully portrayed cabbages in the 18th century. Boucher’s painting depicts a young, country woman in a humble domestic interior attending to one of her three children. In the foreground on the kitchen floor, the artist rendered a Dutch-inspired still life of copper pots and plump root vegetables that underscore the association between peasant life, simplicity and closeness to nature. Such idealized rustic genre scenes, known as “Bambochades,” were highly valued by wealthy Parisian art collectors. But did this rather oversized cabbage have an emblematic role that Boucher’s admirers recognized? It did! The cabbage was one symbol of fecundity; perhaps it alluded to the healthy family to which the young woman tends. Interestingly, in the French countryside, newlyweds were served cabbage soup the day after their nuptials.

[François Boucher (French, 1703–1770), Beautiful Country Woman, c. 1732, oil on canvas, Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Jennifer Jones Simon]

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual event celebrated around the world to honor our planet and envi...
04/22/2020

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual event celebrated around the world to honor our planet and environment. In honor of #EarthDay50, view "Three Great Trees in a Mountainous Landscape with a River" by Jacob van Ruisdael. Here, we see a bird's eye view of a village, mountains and a river that flows into the sea. Ruisdael depicts the impermanent natural world as bountiful and beautiful, a scene for contemplation.⁣⁣
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Below are some ideas on how you can celebrate Earth Day from home:⁣
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🎨 Upcycle materials that would otherwise be thrown away to make an artwork that brings you joy.⁣⁣

🥬 Regrow your vegetables (green onions, celery, lettuce, and more) in just water by cutting the bottoms and adding them to a container of shallow water.⁣⁣

🖍 Fill in and color our coloring sheet of Henri Rousseau's "Exotic Landscape" (bit.ly/2Kp2Ps5)⁣⁣

🧘‍♀️ Meditate (sitting in a quiet place, close your eyes and send love and gratitude to the earth)⁣⁣

💭 Brainstorm ideas with friends and family on how we can protect our planet. Then post a video to share your ideas with others.⁣⁣

🌎 Share how you'll celebrate Earth Day by tagging us #NortonSimon and #EarthDay50.⁣⁣
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Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/9–1682), Three Great Trees in a Mountainous Landscape with a River, c. 1665–70, oil on canvas, The Norton Simon Foundation⁣

We are pleased to introduce Impressions, an online repository of some of the fascinating stories behind the Simon collec...
04/21/2020

We are pleased to introduce Impressions, an online repository of some of the fascinating stories behind the Simon collections. Impressions includes features from our staff on current and future research and improvement initiatives, as well as stories culled from past newsletters and exhibitions.

We hope you enjoy perusing this new digital offering—we will be adding to it weekly: bit.ly/NSMImpressions

Show off your drawing skills with our new weekly drawing challenge! Every Sunday we will share one work from our collect...
04/19/2020

Show off your drawing skills with our new weekly drawing challenge! Every Sunday we will share one work from our collection for you to copy. Then tag us #NortonSimon so we can marvel at your creation:

•This week's challenge: The Figure⁣
•Artwork: Edgar Degas's “Dancers in Pink,” c. 1886

Can we all agree to bring the ruff back?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Coello and his school recorded fashion trends in Europe favored by Catholi...
04/17/2020

Can we all agree to bring the ruff back?⁣⁣⁣
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Coello and his school recorded fashion trends in Europe favored by Catholic nobility during the Counter-Reformation. This portrait of a 14-year-old noblewoman was painted by Alonzo Sánchez Coello's studio in 1593. Flowers embellish a whimsical hairdo as an intricate lace ruff frames her delicate face. While she clasps her long necklace with the right hand as a sign of material wealth, the other is placed firmly on a bible to underscore her modesty and religious virtue.⁣⁣⁣
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[Alonso Sánchez Coello (Spanish, 1531/2–1588), Portrait of a Young Noblewoman, 1593, Oil on canvas, Norton Simon Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon⁣⁣⁣]
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#FashionFriday #CasualFriday #WorkFromHome #WFM #MuseumFromHome #NortonSimon

Happy birthday, Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, born on this day in 1755. Initially introduced to art-making by her fathe...
04/16/2020

Happy birthday, Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, born on this day in 1755. Initially introduced to art-making by her father, a portrait painter, Vigée-LeBrun was one of the most famous portraitists of her time. As a woman, she was not permitted to attend the School of Fine Arts or to study nudes, the basis of most artists’ anatomy training, but she briefly attended a small drawing academy and copied drawings and plaster busts on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Vigée-LeBrun was extremely hardworking and prolific; she is known to have created more than 600 paintings, and her memoirs, first published in 1835–37, have been translated and reprinted many times.

While in Vienna in 1793, she produced this image of Theresia, Countess Kinsky. The Countess was the unfortunate victim of an arranged marriage. Her husband, a man whom she had never met, abandoned her at the church immediately after their wedding, and returned to his mistress. Clearly, Vigée-Lebrun was captivated by the beauty and amiable character of Countess Kinsky, as well as by her sad history.

Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun (French, 1755–1842), Portrait of Theresia, Countess Kinsky, 1793, oil on canvas, Norton Simon Art Foundation

#VigéeLeBrun #WomenArtists #OnThisDay #MuseumFromHome #NortonSimon

Mindful Looking from Home: After the chaos and trauma of WWI, many artists like Picasso looked to the classical past for...
04/15/2020

Mindful Looking from Home: After the chaos and trauma of WWI, many artists like Picasso looked to the classical past for order and stability. In "Bust of a Woman," he's given the subject of this painting/drawing a simplified monumentality, which, together with the restrained palette, echoes the classical sculptures of Ancient Rome. Despite this reassuring "return to order," the woman's body language communicates tension and anxiety.

If you take the pose of the sitter, you can feel the tightness and closed-off quality of her pose. Practice relaxing out of this pose and shifting to one more like that of Picasso's "Woman with a Book." Also notice the impact of the bright colors used in the latter painting. Finally, think about how you can use color and body language to feel more calm and joy in this time of stress.

In the 18th century, paintings known as vedute, or “views” in Italian, were all the rage in Europe. These paintings typi...
04/13/2020

In the 18th century, paintings known as vedute, or “views” in Italian, were all the rage in Europe. These paintings typically depicted Italian cities, and were collected by patrons who wanted to remember the beautiful places they had visited during their travels. Italy was a particularly popular destination for those embarking on the Grand Tour—a fashionable practice among British elite, who would spend many months traveling through cities like Venice, Florence and Rome. Luca Carlevarijs was an early developer of vedute, though Caneletto is perhaps the most famous painter in the genre, specializing in romanticized views of Venetian piazzas and canals.

Our collection contains images of many beautiful places, both real and imagined. Let us know where we can take you next!

04/11/2020
Encounters with the Collection: Guercino's Aldrovandi Dog

Happy National Pet Day! Enjoy this video of former Chief Curator Carol Togneri sharing one of her favorite paintings in the Norton Simon collection: Guercino’s beloved "Aldrovandi Dog" from c. 1625.

Chief Curator Carol Togneri shares with viewers one of her favorite paintings in the Norton Simon collection: Guercino’s beloved "Aldrovandi Dog"…

Did you know that today is National Siblings Day? These pastels represent two of Marie Antoinette’s sisters, Elisabeth a...
04/10/2020

Did you know that today is National Siblings Day? These pastels represent two of Marie Antoinette’s sisters, Elisabeth and Marie Anne, both of whom later became abbesses of powerful convents—a suitable alternative to marriage for noble women. Here, Pierre Bernard depicts the sisters as youthful women, dressed in flounces of ribbon and lace that were fashionable among younger courtly elite.

Bernard, like other leading pastellistes of his day, exploited the properties of the medium to achieve stunningly naturalistic fabric texture. In the eighteenth century pastel grew in popularity because it allowed artists to achieve an opaque matte finish and utilized soft bright colors preferred by Rococo taste at the time.

Pierre Bernard (French, 1704–1777): L: "Portrait of the Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria" and R: "Portrait of the Archduchess Marie Anne of Austria," 1763, pastel and gouache on vellum, oval, The Norton Simon Foundation

Staff Pick | Tom Norris, Curatorial Associate: While we’re all distanced from the artworks we love, it reminded me of Ma...
04/09/2020

Staff Pick | Tom Norris, Curatorial Associate: While we’re all distanced from the artworks we love, it reminded me of Marcel Duchamp’s "Boite-En-Valise" (Box in a Suitcase) and his idea of a ‘portable museum’.

Between 1935 and 1940, Duchamp snuck materials out of occupied Paris to New York City in order to assemble his ‘portable museum.’ Wanting to reproduce the artworks he enjoyed so much, he decided to do so in miniature.

Duchamp later reflected on the making of his box in a valise, “…I thought of the idea of the box in which all of my works would be mounted like in a small museum, a portable museum, so to speak, and here it is in this valise.”

[Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887–1968), Boite-En-Valise (Box in a Suitcase), 1961 (original 1941), cardboard box containing 68 miniature replicas and reproductions, series D of 1961, edition of 30, Norton Simon Museum, Purchase. © Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2020 Reproduction: bit.ly/3c55xPd]

For centuries young European artists would copy paintings by the masters found in churches, palaces or museums such as t...
04/08/2020

For centuries young European artists would copy paintings by the masters found in churches, palaces or museums such as the Musée du Louvre to build up their artistic skills.⁣

Fun fact: Degas received permission to copy paintings at the Louvre in 1853 when he was just eighteen years old. Featured here is Degas’s copy of Nicolas Poussin’s "The Rape of the Sabines,” c. 1861-2. (see original: https://bit.ly/39TSej5)

👩‍🎨👨‍🎨 Show off your drawing skills with our new weekly drawing challenge. Every Sunday we will share one work from our collection for you to copy. Then tag us #NortonSimon so we can marvel at your creation.⁣

[Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), The Rape of the Sabines (after Nicolas Poussin), c. 1861–1862, oil on canvas, The Norton Simon Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon⁣]

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411 W Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA
91105

The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit the Pasadena Transit for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit Metro for schedules.

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Hello, My name is Marta and I live in Pasadena. Since you are a big part of the community of Pasadena and participate so actively in its culture and legacy, I would like to share something with you. I wrote a song about Pasadena and about the strange moments we’re going through right now due to the COVID-19 situation. I intend to send out a positive vibe and lots of hope. I hope you like it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsYtOmBpxBM Stay safe, Marta
I just had a nice Kandisky Time at the Norton Simon Museum! I also enjoyed reviewing other artists's artwork. I was delighted to find out that a portrait I always admire is Vincent Van Gogh's Mother! He painted from a black and white pictute his sister sent to him from Netherlands. He painted his mother for himself, but after he finished he wasn't very happy. I think he painted very pale the face, but her eyes are bright and healthy. Vincent had a beautiful mother! Thank you, Norton Simon Museum!
Museum is fantastic but be warned about the cafe---overpriced and not very good!!! Eat somewhere else!
Free Friday eves. Borderline life changing.
Hello! Does anyone happen to know if the Museum is open on Memorial Day? Thanks!
As we came to the museum we were stop by a female security, telling us we couldn't take in a diaper bag. That's fine, but as we were there we saw allot of people with large bags. We told the security but ignore us. Then we ask to speak to the supervisor Jim McDonald, he also gave us a racial discrimination as also we saw people passing by with bigger bags. Also to add all that when in were white and for some reason we were the only ones that got stopped and embarrased in public. Also Jim had security follow me and my family like we were criminals. This is not the end, hope i can get a follow up on this situation, this a great museum but staff they hired should get sensitivity training.
Join us on Tuesday, April 30th for a FREE conversation featuring art historians Thomas Crow and Alexander Dumbadze, who will be discussing the artistic milieu of the 1960s and 1970s and how it shaped Allen Ruppersberg and his contemporaries. Crow’s recent book, No Idols: The Missing Theology of Art, turns away from contemporary cultural theories to address a blind spot in today’s art historical inquiry: religion. Dumbadze is the author of Bas Jan Ader: Death Is Elsewhere, about the late Dutch-born Conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader. 7:30PM at the Hammer Museum. https://www.facebook.com/events/2016124378694187/
Remarkable transformation!
the Pasadena Arts & Crafts Show is November 9-11 at the Hilton Pasadena. Established by artisans, Pasadena Arts & Crafts Show celebrates the Arts & Crafts Movement --with artists, artisans, makers, and bakers, this gift market extravaganza is the event of the season! Hoping you can post it on your page and help us get the word out! We'd be happy to provide you with free passes as well. https://www.facebook.com/events/540641002973724/
I have been incredibly honored to play Vincent van Gogh in a one-man show entitled Van Gogh: A Self Portrait for the last two years at numerous venues. Anyone out there interested in having Vincent at your school, theatre, museum or special event? Contact me for more info.
I NOSTRI SFOGHI Pallida memoria, foresta oscura fatto di ombre, nidificano mai, posto senza sole: incontrati lì vecchio amore. Riuniti lì, lunghi anni vagando bosco; vecchio cuore invana melodia ! labbra pallide acque cercando azzurro incoronano tutti . Invochiamo da lontano, desiderio freddo : volto di stella, occhi cremisi. siamo andati , senza vicinanze, povere ombre . Vita è nostra, petali rosa , la bellezza fugge sentiero di ombre I sorrisi che annegano erba amara ; tristi di notte. Autore :Frecina Libro : La Vita e unTicchio
SHAME on you!! Fighting for your Nazi stolen Holocaust paintings then kicking grandson Eric Simon off your board. You should rot in the same place as you know who. I will never come back. Just read about the suit from Ms. Goudstikker.