Pasadena, California, is home to plenty of places to experience great art, but none so impressive as Norton Simon Museum. Nestled in an enclave of greenery along the city’s famed Colorado Boulevard, this museum offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the city outside for connoisseurs to experience the work of some of the world’s most famous artists.
A visit to Norton Simon gives guests an opportunity to see works by world-renowned artists, such as Van Gogh, Gaugin, Raphael, Renoir and Picasso. Works such as Manet’s “The Ragpicker,” Rembrandt’s P”ortrait of a Boy” and Van Gogh’s “Portrait of a Peasant” offer a stark contrast to modern pieces such as Andy Warhol’s “Brillo Boxes.”
The museum’s Degas collection is highlighted by one of his crowning achievements, “The Dancer, Aged Fourteen.” This painted bronze statue dressed in a cotton ballerina costume with a white silk bow hanging from her hair stands in silent homage as the centerpiece to a room filled with other beautiful examples of the artist’s painted renditions of ballet dancers.
The museum’s main collection is permanent; however, there are always new exhibits to experience. One to watch for is the upcoming “Unseen Picasso,” planned to run May through October. This exhibit will showcase some of the artist’s most innovative and rarely seen prints.
Outside, visitors can stroll through the beautifully landscaped garden amid a beautiful collection of 19th– and 20th-century bronze sculptures that are the perfect accompaniment to the peaceful surroundings. While the garden is designed to be verdant year-round (an easy feat with the beautiful California climate), the best time to visit is spring when the flowers are in full bloom.
The museum is open daily until 5 p.m. (until 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) and admission is $15. Admission is free on the first Friday of every month.
The Norton Simon Museum
411 West Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
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