LA.7: The Norton Simon

Added on by suzy baur.

This museum has just made it to my top ten list of favorite things. I love everything about it: the stunning building along with its beautiful sculpture garden and exquisite art collection. The museum was designed by Ladd & Kelsey and opened in 1969. In 1998-99 the museum was renovated by Frank Gehry along with Greg Walsh and landscape architect Nancy Goslee. 

It is so enjoyable walking around this wonderful building featuring Heath ceramic tile cladding and rounded corners. I caught myself thinking of Richard Serra's Band (2006) by doing so. It meanders through the property spreading its four arms and revealing a delightful sculpture garden and café in the rear. The sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Jacques Lipshitz, Aristide Maillol, Auguste Rodin and many others seem thoughtfully chosen and displayed around the pond and amongst the colorful shrubs. The Café invites you take and seat and revel in the peacefulness of the garden. 

When entering the museum and walking through the galleries, I noticed once again how thoughtfully the sculptures were displayed. The collection of Degas sculptures is remarkable. However it was the collection of paintings that has left me stunned. Featuring works by outstanding artists from the 14th through the 20th century, the collection has many a highlight to enjoy. The three paintings by Zurbarán, especially The Birth of the Virgin (ca.1627), are magnificent. And so are the two small works by Edgar Degas, Olive trees agains and mountain background and Wheat Field and Green Hill (both ca. 1892). I am also in love with Still life with Flower (1887) by Emile Bernard. And there is Vassily Kandisky's Unequal (1932). I could go on and on and on…. best to go and see it yourself. 

Located on 411 West Colorado Blvd, Pasadena CA 91105
To learn more, visit Norton Simon
heck out Heath Ceramics
heck out Ladd & Kelsey
heck out Nancy Goslee Power Associates


While in Pasadena, make sure to check these out… 

Top left: The Gamble House by Charles & Henry Greene 1908; 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena; Reservations highly recommended. 
Top center: The Cole House by Charles & Henry Greene 1906; 2 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena
Top right: Mansion Fenyes by Robert Farquhar 1906; 170 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena; to visit, check out Pasadena Museum of History
Bottom left: The Bentz House by Charles & Henry Greene: 657 Prospect Blvd, Pasadena
Bottom center: The Millard House by Frank Lloyd Wright 1923; 645 Prospect Blvd, Pasadena
Bottom right: The Millard House by Frank Lloyd Wright 1923; 645 Prospect Blvd, Pasadena

Talking museums….. here is a list of my favorite ones in LA: 

The J. Getty Center for the Arts
- located on 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles CA 90049
- architect: Richard Meier (1992-97)
- highlights: pavilion, garden, patio system; extensive painting, manuscript photo collection
- visit The Getty

- located on 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
- architects: Pereira & Associates (1964), Hardy, Holzman and Pfeiffer (1982-83)
- highlights: largest museum of the western states; huge collection
- do not miss James Turell's Ganzfeld in the Resnick Pavilion (make reservations @ iPad kiosk)
- visit LACMA.

A + D Museum  
- located on 6032 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
- will relocate to the Arts District and is expected to open in spring/summer 2015

- highlights: continuous exhibits on architecture and design 
- visit A + D

- located on 250 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012
- architect: Arata Isozaki (1983-87)
- highlights: European and Amercian contemporary art
- visit MOCA

The Broad
- located on 221 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012
- architects: Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
- highlights: contemporary art collection of philanthropists Eli & Edythe Broad
- to open September 20th, 2015
- visit The Broad
- to learn more, check out Mega Patron