Norton Simon Museum

Seeking a permanent home for his collection of over 4,000 objects, in 1972 Norton Simon welcomed an overture from the financially troubled Pasadena Museum of Modern Art. He ultimately assumed control and naming rights, and in 1974 it was renamed the Norton Simon Museum.  Norton Simon made his fortune with Hunts Food which was later sold to ConAgra.  The museum on weekends is open till 8pm and costs $12 per adult.  It’s a small museum but holds some important European and Asian works of art.

In a previous blog, Lady Egg and I checked out Monrovia Falls and this is our adventure later that day in Old Town Pasadena.  This was the first time for me going to this museum but of course I have heard the name “Norton Simon” for a long time.  The main piece on exhibit is Van Gogh’s “Bedroom” on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago till Mar. 6, 2017. Van Gogh painted it three times, the piece on exhibit is the 2nd piece and is on display for the first time on the West Coast.  Besides the Van Gogh and Monet art works I enjoyed the Edgar Degas piece “Little Dancer” cast in bronze.

Van Gogh “Bedroom”
Van Gogh “Bedroom”
Claude Monet “The Artist Garden in Vetheuil”
Edgar Degas “The Little Dancer”
Edgar Degas “The Little Dancer”
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo “The Triump of VIrtue and Nobility over Ignorance”
Van Gogh “Portrait of a Peasant”


There was a nice collection from Pablo Picasso including the “Woman with a Book” along with a special exhibit by him of his lithographs.  We got lucky because the lithographs exhibit closes on Feb 13, 2017.

States of Mind: Picasso Lithographs “The Bull” 1945 5th State
Pablo Picasso “Woman with a Book”
Pablo Picasso “Woman with a Book”
States of Mind: Picasso Lithographs 1945–1960
States of Mind: Picasso Lithographs 1945–1960
States of Mind: Picasso Lithographs 1945–1960


On the lower level, the ancient Asian works of art resides.  From a timeline of humanity, these are much older pieces that embody the religious beliefs of the area but contains amazing levels of detail.  In my opinion, they achieved technical skills that the European artists didn’t at the same time period.


Cosmic Form of Krishna, India 15th Century


Stele with Vishnu, India c.1100
Bodhisattva, Nepal 13th Century


Durga with Kumara, India 9th Century
Bodhisattva Maietreya, Pakistan 2nd Century

This museum make lack the size of other places but it boasts a strong collection and it’s worth trying to appreciate some of the artists and what they tried to capture in that period.  We are lucky to have places like this around.

Finally we left and grabbed dinner at Boiling Point in Pasadena.  Didn’t think it was blog worthy so didn’t take a pic, but Boiling Point remains one of my favorite places to grab a hot meal without breaking the bank.

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