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Indoor/Outdoor: Vuillard’s Landscapes and Interiors

October 16, 2015 - January 18, 2016


    P
    asadena, CA
    —The Norton Simon Museum presents an exhibition of Paysages et Intérieurs (Landscapes and Interiors), Édouard Vuillard’s exquisite print album of 1899. The thirteen prints in the series—comprising views of parks, boulevards and cafés, scenes of domestic interiors, and an album cover—give us a glimpse of Vuillard’s Paris through a thicket of pattern and color. Financed and published by the avant-garde dealer Ambroise Vollard, Landscapes and Interiors was a commercial failure—20 years after its printing, Vollard had still not sold out the original edition of 100 sets. Today, however, individual prints from the series are so sought after that intact suites like the Norton Simon’s have become a rarity. The exhibition also marks the return of the artist’s monumental First Fruits, also from 1899, following its conservation work at the J. Paul Getty Museum and its subsequent loans to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Vuillard as Printmaker
    One of the most innovative artists in turn-of-the-century Paris, Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940) is best known for small-scale paintings of domestic interiors, populated by friends and family members and crowded with competing patterns: wallpapers, textiles, latticed windows. These patterns contribute to the emphatic flatness of his work, a sense that space recedes not into his pictures but up and across their surfaces, erecting a kind of screen or protective barrier between beholder and beheld.  Like many of his contemporaries, Vuillard became fascinated with Japanese woodblock prints and used the new medium of color lithography to mimic their coloristic effects. The single-color lithographic process, invented at the end of the 19th century, had transformed print-making and -marketing in modern Europe, allowing printers to pull large editions without wearing down the original matrix. By the turn of the 20th century, commercial advertising—circus posters, champagne ads, and so on—had driven the development of multi-color lithography, granting artists a new range of expressive possibilities in the medium.

    As in Japanese woodblock printing, each of Vuillard’s colors required a separately inked matrix. Hence, an image as richly colored as The Pastry Shop could require seven separate lithographic stones, inked and printed in precise sequence. To aid in this process, the artist turned to master printer Auguste Clot, who produced prints for such other members of the avant-garde as Bonnard, Redon, Toulouse-Lautrec and Munch. In Landscapes and Interiors, Clot helped Vuillard achieve effects of unprecedented subtlety and virtuosity. Form and space are described with color alone, applied in transparent, overlapping layers: green laid down over yellow, red laid over pink, and so on.

    For all their technical sophistication, though, Vuillard’s prints describe an ordinary world, places and people intimately known by the artist: a sunny avenue bustling with pedestrians, the corner table of a café, Vuillard’s mother sitting by her kitchen stove, his friends intent on a game of checkers. Despite their cozy familiarity, these scenes grant us no access to the inner thoughts of those they portray. Vuillard’s approach, in the end, is perhaps less intimate than intensely private, veiling the world he describes in pattern and color.

    Vuillard’s First Fruits
    In the same year that he produced his intimate Landscapes and Interiors, Vuillard also completed two decorative panels for a private residence, one of which, First Fruits, is now part of the Norton Simon collection. Splendidly cleaned and conserved at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2014, First Fruits returns to the Norton Simon Museum this October, having spent the spring in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay and the summer at the Art Institute of Chicago, where it was reunited with its pendant (Landscape: Window Overlooking the Woods) for the first time in half a century. Portraying a landscape near the country house where Vuillard spent his summer holidays in 1899, the richly patterned surface and endlessly varied greens of First Fruits make it a kind of “verdure” as the artist called the picture; generally translated as “greenery,” the word carries an additional and more specific meaning in French, referring to a style of tapestry produced during the Renaissance. With vegetal borders and densely patterned leaves, First Fruits makes explicit reference to the verdure tradition and seems to have played the part of a tapestry in the room where it was first displayed: the private library of a Parisian townhouse.

    “Indoor/Outdoor: Vuillard’s Landscapes and Interiors” is organized by Associate Curator Emily A. Beeny. A series of events is organized in conjunction with the exhibition, including the lecture Vuillard’s First Fruits: Cleaning and Context by Beeny and Devi Ormond, Associate Paintings Conservator, J. Paul Getty Museum, on Saturday, November 7, at 4:00 p.m. More information is at www.nortonsimon.org. 


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible.Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

     

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A Revolution of the Palette: The First Synthetic Blues and their Impact on French Artists

July 17, 2015 - January 04, 2016


    Pasadena, CA
    —The Norton Simon Museum presents an exhibition that traces the effects of three synthetic blue pigments on French artists. The accidental discovery of Prussian blue in an alchemist’s laboratory around 1704 helped open up new possibilities for artistic expression at the dawn of the Enlightenment. Through stunning works from the Simon’s collection, alongside a handful of loans, A Revolution of the Palette explores the use of this pigment, followed by the introduction of cobalt blue and synthetic ultramarine, by French artists from the Rococo period to the threshold of Impressionism.

    A new palette available to artists, thanks largely to the addition of Prussian blue in the 18th century, helped fuel the heated philosophical debates regarding Newtonian color theory. The fascinating new capabilities of artists to exploit sophisticated color relationships based on scientific optical principles became a core precept of Rococo painting, or peinture moderne as it was called at the time. Exquisite examples of the early use of Prussian blue by Fragonard and his immediate circle demonstrate their technical achievements. Paintings by Vigée-Lebrun, Prud’hon and Ingres show the masterful use of Prussian blue as Neoclassicism took hold. The sophisticated, subtle manipulations of color in academic painting of the period, exemplified by Ducis’ Sappho Recalled to Life by the Charm of Music and Degas’ early and ambitious emulation of a Poussin composition, The Rape of the Sabines, rely heavily on the ability of the new blues to deftly modulate tone and hue in ways never available to earlier painters.

    As revolutionary as this new greenish-blue color proved to be, Prussian blue was a mere precursor to the explosion of available colors brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Indeed, the French government played an active role in catalyzing innovation at the dawn of the 19th century, as the country emerged from the Revolution with its economy in disarray. The newly appointed administrator of the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Alexandre Brongniart (1770–1847), oversaw chemist Louis Jacques Thénard’s development of the next synthetic blue, a vivid cobalt blue pigment, inspired by the traditional cobalt oxide blue glazes seen on 18th-century Sèvres porcelain. An exquisite lidded vase on loan from the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens illustrates this.

    The third synthetic blue to emerge was the culmination of centuries of searching for a cheap, plentiful, high-quality replacement for the most valuable of all pigments: natural ultramarine. This was a color derived from lapis lazuli, a rare, semiprecious gemstone mined almost exclusively in Afghanistan since the 6th century, and imported to Europe through Venice. It is famously known to have been more costly than gold during the Renaissance. Natural ultramarine provided a brilliant, royal blue hue, but only if coarsely ground and applied in a comparatively translucent glaze over a light-reflecting ground. Other blue colors, such as smalt, which was essentially composed of particles of colored glass, were available to help achieve the lovely hues of ultramarine, but the poor covering ability of the paint and the difficulty of its preparation and use were familiar limitations.

    In 1824, the French government announced a competition among chemists to develop a true synthetic ultramarine. The prize was finally awarded in 1828 to Jean-Baptiste Guimet. Painters at last had an affordable, fully balanced palette of cool and warm colors spanning the full spectrum. This fact, combined with the innovation of ready-mixed tube oil colors, greatly facilitated the direct representation of nature. The ability of painters to capture a wide range of observed natural effects in the landscape en plein air are represented by the works of Corot, Guigou, Monticelli and Dupré. A Revolution of the Palette closes with two canvases representing the Impressionists’ full realization of the wide-open possibilities made possible by these new blues: Guillaumin’s The Seine at Charenton (formerly Daybreak) and Caillebotte’s Canoe on the Yerres River.

    A Revolution of the Palette: The First Synthetic Blues and Their Impact on French Artists is curated by Conservator John Griswold. A series of events will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition. Information can be found at nortonsimon.org/events.


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

FragonardJoseph and Potiphars Wife

Fragonard’s Enterprise: The Artist and the Literature of Travel

July 17, 2015 - January 04, 2016


    P
    asadena, CA
    —The Norton Simon Museum presents Fragonard’s Enterprise: The Artist and the Literature of Travel, an exhibition that presents 60 drawings created by a young Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732–1806) during his first and most important stay in Italy in the mid-18th century. These exquisite works document Fragonard’s voyage to see the great artistic treasures of Florence, Bologna, and Padua, among other cities. Fragonard’s Enterprise explores the excitement of this expedition, the documentary and practical value of the drawings, and their history following publication, especially as they were treasured by later collectors.

    Before Fragonard ascended to the ranks of one of the 18th century’s most popular painters, he studied at the French Academy in Rome, where he practiced the fundamental art of drawing as a method to hone his skills and to establish his own unique style. In Rome, he encountered his first patron, Jean-Claude Richard de Saint-Non (1727–1791). A passionate advocate of the arts, Saint-Non was an eager participant in the Grand Tour, the educational pilgrimage to Italy then in vogue throughout Europe. His voyage, made from 1759 to 1761, inspired him to chronicle this experience for an audience that shared his fascination with the peninsula. Saint-Non invited the young Fragonard to join in his tour through Italy’s illustrious cities. In exchange, Fragonard was tasked with making copies after the important paintings and monuments to be seen in the churches and palazzi. The black chalk drawings Fragonard produced for his sponsor served as source material for Saint-Non’s engravings and aquatints, which were published in suites, and in his illustrated travel book Voyage pittoresque de Naples et de Sicile (1781–86). These immensely popular publications served as barometers of taste for the arts, and as beloved reminders of the masterpieces visited.

    Enthusiasm for classical antiquity and Neapolitan Baroque painting drew many tourists to Naples. Saint-Non enjoyed multiple visits to the city, and during Fragonard’s visit in March 1761, he created inspired copies after the masterpieces he visited in private and public spaces. Occasionally he combined subjects from different locations on one sheet of paper. 

    St. Luke Surrounded by Angels, for example, was copied from a fresco by Giovanni Lanfranco in the Church of the Holy Apostles. On the same sheet, Fragonard flanked Luke’s figure with two prophets that caught his attention at the Certosa di San Martino, painted by the Spaniard Jusepe de Ribera. The result of this imaginative pastiche is so fluid that few would suspect it was a combination drawing.

    With its sunlit canals and magnificent architecture, Venice proved irresistible to the Grand Tourist. Fragonard and Saint-Non passed more than a month there. Inspired by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, the French artist produced lively, free-spirited copies, as evidenced in his Study after Paolo Veronese’s Adoration of the Magi, 1582, from the Church of San Nicolò della Lattuga ai Frari. Fragonard shifted Veronese’s vertical format to a horizontal one, and deemphasized the architecture to concentrate on the rhythmic interweaving of the figures that he must have admired in the original.

    Fragonard’s Enterprise: The Artist and the Literature of Travel is organized by Curator Gloria Williams Sander. A series of events will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition. Information can be found at nortonsimon.org/events.


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible.Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

     

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The Museum Presents A Night in Focus: Sculpture Garden

July 11, 2015


    Pasadena, CA—The Norton Simon Museum presents a special midsummer evening designed to bring the Museum experience out of the galleries and into our beloved sculpture garden.  

    WHAT: A Night in Focus: Sculpture Garden

    Join in a delightful summer evening celebrating the Museum’s Sculpture Garden and latest publication, A Living Work of Art: The Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden. For this Night in Focus, guests are invited to explore the garden, from its lush pond and meandering paths to its range of sculptures by such artists as Hepworth, Maillol, Moore, Rodin and others. Enjoy guided tours (tour themes include Nature’s Abundance: Still Lifes, Landscapes and Gardens and Sculptural Oasis: A Walk in the Garden), art-making and flower-arranging activities for all ages, live music and an extended wine, champagne and hors d’oeuvres menu for sale in the garden café.

    WHEN:       Saturday, July 11, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

    WHERE:     Norton Simon Museum | 411 West Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena | Located on the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. Parking at the Norton Simon Museum is free.

    ADMISSION:   A Night in Focus: Sculpture Garden is free with Museum admission.
    Admission is $12.00 for adults; $9.00 for seniors; and free for Museum members, students with I.D., and everyone age 18 and under. For general public enquiries, call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org.

     


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

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Exhibitions and Events Schedule

July 01, 2015 - September 30, 2015

    Pasadena, CA—The Norton Simon Museum announces its summer season of events and exhibitions. Unless otherwise stated, all events are free with admission. Tickets for ensured seating for lectures and concerts are distributed in the main entrance gallery one hour prior to event. Members enjoy early seating.

    Highlights of the season include our Summer Concert SeriesTour & Film SeriesGarden Focus Night, and Thursday Summer Fun

    Plus the opening of two exhibitions: Fragonard’s Enterprise: The Artist and the Literature of Travel and A Revolution of the Palette: The First Synthetic Blues and Their Impact on French Artists

    Please click here, or on on the PDF at the right, to view the complete summer schedule. 

     


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

Von SternbergColumbia Ice Field Canada FULL

Human/Nature: Photographers Constructing the Natural World

March 06, 2015 - August 31, 2015


    Pasadena, CA
    —The Norton Simon Museum presents Human/Nature: Photographers Constructing the Natural World, an exhibition of 24 works that demonstrate how photographers in the 1960s and ’70s approached “nature” and “culture” in their images, not in opposition, but rather in dialogue. Up until then, landscape photography had mostly minimized evidence of human presence; indeed, the most renowned images in the genre presented pristine vistas that photographer Lewis Baltz wryly characterized as “the privileged world of pure nature.” The 10 artists in Human/Nature play with and against this tradition, treating signs of humanity, and our activities, as essential elements of their image-making practice.

    Against the Modernist—some would say, Romantic—tradition of canonical figures like Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, photographers in the 1960s and ’70s began to focus on landscapes beyond “pure nature.” During this period, photography that included and even emphasized human alterations to the landscape became a legitimate avenue for artistic consideration. Baltz, whose studies of California tract houses exemplified this new approach, recalled that “my life very rarely involved going to Yosemite [National Park in California]. My life was about going to shopping centers, being in a town, an urban situation, which seemed to me was also a landscape, but one that no one had any interest in looking at. But I was interested in looking at it.” Along these lines, Baltz, Victor Landweber, Robert von Sternberg and others pictured landscapes marked by urban and suburban life, tourism and industry. 

    While such transformed landscapes are distinguished by their innovative subjects and their formal beauty, they also invite critical conversations around the impact of our interactions with the non-human world. In his Auduboniana series (1998–2001), Landweber superimposes etched birds from John James Audubon’s Birds of America (1827–1838) over modern urban architecture, creating suggestive contrasts between pre-industrial and contemporary American life. Passenger Pigeon, Federal Building, Oakland CA (1998) is especially poignant. From a population of billions, over-hunting and habitat depredation drove the passenger pigeon to extinction in 1914. In another striking juxtaposition, the bright orange traffic cone that punctuates Von Sternberg’s Columbia Ice Field, Canada (2009) may be a playful, unexpected splash of color in an otherwise stark landscape, but it is also a reminder of the many snow coaches that carry tourists as far as the remote Canadian Rockies.

    A number of artists in Human/Nature explore a particular paradox: photographers must use uniquely human technologies in their representations of the non-human world. These artists revel in scenarios where the natural and the man-made meet and blend. Darryl Curran, Robert Fichter, Kenneth Josephson and other artists place trees, plants and vegetables in communication with innovative technical processes, from the flatbed scanner to the smartphone. The lush, tactile surface of the tree trunk in Josephson’s Chicago (1964) pays homage to Modernist formalism, but its nested composition is conceptually complex: Chicago is a picture of a tree within a picture of a tree within a picture of a tree. Josephson here probes the camera’s mediating role between natural and human artistry. In his use of snapshots, Josephson also gestures to the proliferation of instant photography, most famously the Polaroid. In more recent years, Fichter has photographed landscapes using another cutting-edge, instantaneous process with widespread appeal: the iPhone’s panorama mode.

    Two artists in the exhibition, Curran and Jane O’Neal, use flatbed scanners to capture their compositions. Curran’s flattened arrangement of colorful cabbage leaves, delicate baby’s breath, thorny rose stems and a serrated knife on the surface of the scanner links Savoy Cabbage, Baby’s Breath, Blade (1995) to the photograms and cyanotypes of early photography, in which objects were arranged on photo-sensitive paper, and which likewise often featured a blend of natural objects and man-made artifacts. The inclusion of a knife among the cut leaves and stems signals human presence—and, perhaps, humanity’s power to destroy as well as to construct.

    From subtle to arresting, lyrical to critical, the photographs in Human/Nature present a world mediated by human activity. This exhibition is on view in the Museum’s small rotating exhibitions gallery on the main level from March 6 through Aug. 31.

    Cited: Lewis Baltz, Oral history interview, 2009 November 15-17, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Image credit on previous page: Auduboniana: Passenger Pigeon, Federal Building, Oakland, CA, 1998, Victor Landweber (American, b. 1943), Digital pigment print, 19 x 13 in. (48.3 x 33 cm), Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Alan, Shelley and Lucinda Stamm. PH.2010.3.2, © Norton Simon Museum


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

GardenMoore

Sculpture Garden Celebration Continues

March 01, 2015 - August 31, 2015


    A highlight will be the publication of a book, with an essay by landscape designer Nancy Goslee Power and principal photography by Tim Street-Porter

    Pasadena, CA—Beginning in October 2014, the Norton Simon Museum marks the 15th anniversary of its sculpture garden with a yearlong celebration, including special programming and the publication of a book.

    Designed by renowned landscape designer Nancy Goslee Power, the Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden has been a highlight for visitors since it was unveiled in October 1999. Works by Aristide Maillol, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Auguste Rodin, Jacques Lipchitz and others are installed throughout the Museum’s lush and vibrant gardens.

    To commemorate this milestone, the Norton Simon Museum is organizing a series of monthly events that focus on the garden, including lectures, outdoor concerts, art-making programs for adults and families, tours and focus nights. The first event, presented on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, will be a panel discussion about the renovation with Power, Norton Simon foundations Trustee and retired Museum Director of Art Sara Campbell and Museum Director of Operations John Sudolcan, moderated by Museum Chief Curator Carol Togneri. Also in October, the Museum will publish a free garden guide that offers visitors a map of the grounds and information on many of the plants and sculptures found throughout.

    In spring 2015, a visually enticing book on the sculpture garden will be published. With chapters on the history of the property and the works of art installed on the grounds written by Museum staff, along with an essay on the extensive transformation in the 1990s written by Power, this publication will provide readers with an extensive overview of the garden. Throughout the publication will be gorgeous images by celebrated photographer Tim Street-Porter, whom the Norton Simon foundations commissioned to photograph the garden over the course of a year.

    More information on the book, as well as a full schedule of events, will be available later this year.


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.

Garden full

Sculpture Garden Anniversary Celebration

October 01, 2014 - September 30, 2015


    Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden Celebration Continues

    A highlight is the release this spring of the new publication
    A Living Work of Art: The Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden

    Pasadena, CA—The Norton Simon Museum continues its celebration of the 15th anniversary of its sculpture garden with special programming and the publication of a book. Designed by renowned landscape designer Nancy Goslee Power, the Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden has been a highlight for visitors since it was unveiled in October 1999. Works by Aristide Maillol, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Auguste Rodin, Jacques Lipchitz and others are installed throughout the Museum’s lush and vibrant gardens.

    To commemorate this milestone, the Norton Simon Museum launched a yearlong celebration of the Sculpture Garden last October. The inaugural event was a lively discussion with Power and Museum staff who were involved in the renovation. At the same time, the Museum published a new, free Garden Guide, launched an updated web section (nortonsimon.org/garden) and organized a series of special tours and family programs.

    This spring, the focus continues with the launch of a book, titled A Living Work of Art: The Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden (Norton Simon Museum, $50). Designed by Marquand Books and distributed by ACC Distribution, New York, this handsome publication provides an in-depth examination into the Museum’s garden and the sculpture it contains. The introductory chapter, chock full of rarely seen archival images, tells of the land’s early settlers and its transformation into Carmelita Gardens and later the Pasadena Art Museum. Next, Power tells of the inspiration and hard work that led to the reimagined Sculpture Garden in the 1990s. Finally, essays by museum curators on each of the 40 sculptures in the Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden provide a wonderful overview of artwork by some of the most renowned artists of the 19th and 20th century. Throughout the publication are more than 100 photographs of the garden and sculpture taken by Tim Street-Porter. Street-Porter, a well-known landscape and architectural photographer based in Los Angeles, was commissioned by the Norton Simon foundations to photograph the garden over the course of four seasons.

    Publication Information:
    A Living Work of Art: The Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden
    General Editors: Leslie C. Denk and Carol Togneri
    Norton Simon Museum
    10” x 11”, 136 pages, Hardcover
    103 color illustrations, 22 archival illustrations
    Retail price: $50
    ISBN: 978-0-9891956-1-4
    Publication Date: May 11, 2015
    Available at the Norton Simon Museum bookstore: store.nortonsimon.org | (626) 844-6942 | [email protected]; or through ACC Distribution, New York.


    About the Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

    Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: The City of Pasadena provides a shuttle bus to transport passengers through the Pasadena Playhouse district, the Lake Avenue shopping district and Old Pasadena. A shuttle stop is located in front of the Museum. Please visit cityofpasadena.net/artsbus for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.