Norton Simon Museum

Visiting the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is a rite of passage for modern art lovers in Southern California. Located at 411 West Colorado Boulevard, the museum is built on ten acres of land in-between Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevard. The museum, formerly known as the Pasadena Art Institute, and the Pasadena Art Museum, showcases the art collection of the late Norton Simon. As you plan a trip to South Pasadena, be sure to include the museum on your list of stops.

Norton Simon was a successful sheet metal company owner who migrated from Oregon all the way to Los Angeles. He built the company Norton Simon, Inc., which became home to many well-known names. Today, the it encompasses Avis Car Rental, Saturday Review of Literature, Hunt-Wesson Foods, Canada Dry Corporation, and more.

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Photo Credit: https://www.nortonsimon.org/assets/slideshow-images/home-1.jpg

Simon started the museum when he ran out of space for his art collection of European pieces. He started circulating his collection as a “museum without walls.” In other words, he regularly lent out his pieces to international venues. The Norton Simon Art Foundation was born, and he was also involved in starting the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Simon passed away in 1993, but his legacy lives on. Visitors continue to enjoy his collection of one-thousand European and Asian art pieces, as well as the sculpture garden and the pond at the museum. The museum is a space for lectures, masterpiece loans, tours, programming for the community, performances, and education courses. A museum store, cafe, and the Norton Simon Theater are also open to visitors.

Parking at the museum is free to the community, and it is inexpensive to visit the museum. Students, military personnel, and children 18-years-old and under enter free of charge. Don’t forget that the museum also offers free entry between 5 and 8 pm in the evening on the first Friday of every month.

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Photo Credit: http://theactorsdiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IMG_0548.jpeg

Simon said, “I am not essentially a religious person, but my feeling about a museum is that it can serve a substitute for a house of worship. It is a place to respect man’s creativity and to sense a continuity with the past. It is a place to give us a feeling of the dignity of man and to help us to strive towards our own creativity.” (Visit the museum’s website here, where you may read this quote and learn more about Simon and the museum.) His legacy inspires young artists and the future creators of our time. As you ponder ways to harness your own creativity, visit the pieces preserved at the museum. Preserving our past, our history, and our culture allows us to connect with these artefacts as we learn and grow.

About South Pasadena: South Pasadena is a city that spans three-and-a-half square miles within the West San Gabriel Valley of the Los Angeles area. While visiting South Pasadena, consider seeing the following locations, parks, and historic sites:

-Old Town Pasadena

-Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain

-The Curio Emporium

-Garfield Park

-Arroyo Seco Park

-Historical Museum

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