A Hidden Gem in San Gabriel Valley – The Norton Simon Museum of Art
Tucked away in the serene city of Pasadena is the Norton Simon Museum of Art. This world-renowned museum is home to more than 12,000 works of art Spanning across centuries and cultures. Although it may be lesser known than some of its counterparts, this hidden gem is definitely worth a visit!
The History of the Norton Simon Museum of Art
The Norton Simon Museum owes its humble beginnings to the industrialist Norton Simon. In the early 20th century, Mr. Simon began amassing what would become one of the most impressive private art collections in America. His passion for art led him to Europe where he purchased works by some of the most famous artists in history including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh.
The collection continued to grow, and by 1963 it had outgrown its original home. Mr. Simon then donated his entire collection to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) on the condition that they build a museum to house it. The museum was designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann and opened to the public in 1974. In 2009, the museum underwent a 14-month long expansion and renovation project which updated the galleries and added new amenities for visitors.
What You’ll See at the Norton Simon Museum
The museum is best known for its European paintings which include works by Botticelli, Rembrandt, and Degas. However, the museum’s holdings are not limited to European art. It is also home to an impressive array of Asian artwork including sculptures, paintings, ceramics, and more from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. In addition to its world-renowned permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring works from both contemporary and historical artists.
Whether you’re a fan of European masters or Asian art, you’re sure to find something you love at the Norton Simon Museum. Next time you’re looking for a cultural activity in Pasadena, be sure to add this hidden gem to your list!