Normally, when I think of the Norton Simon, I think of the Degas collection, the Van Goghs, Cezanne tulips and the beautiful Raphael Madonna and Child with Book. The thing is, they also have an amazing Eastern art collection and other exhibitions, as well.
It was a blazing hot day last Saturday, and therefore a perfect day to be in an air conditioned museum, after seeing my friend Karen's new condo in South Pasadena.
Detail from Temple Wall, with scenes from Krishna's life
India, Kerala, 19th century
Temple Wall with Scenes from Krishna's life
India, Kerala, 19th century
detail from temple wall
(Krishna stole the clothes of these ladies!)
Elephant detail from Temple wall
Buddha mudra ...
Design Remodel a la Frank Gehry
Vishnu as the Boar Avatar (India)
Uttar Pradesh, Mathura; 3rd century
Pakistan, Ancient Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century
Isn't the lighting beautiful on these sculptures?
Stele with Vishnu and other Hindu Deities
India: Uttar Pradesh, c. 1100
Sandstone with pigments
India, 10th century
Bracket with Celestial Dancer
India, Rajasthan, 14th century
There is a beautiful room full of Hindu deities, that looks out on to the garden where Buddha sits. It's so beautiful and serene.
Shiva as Lord of the dance (Nataraja)
India, Tamil Nadu, circa 1000
Then we headed into the modern sculpture exhibition. It's always good to mix things up and there is something very serene about the clean lines and simplicity of this art, as well. Yes, that's me. Karen took it. It's important to walk around certain sculptures ... and you know, take photos for Instagram!
Through January 6, 2014
Blue Post and Lintel 1, 1965
John Harvey McCracken
Plywood, fiberglass and lacquer
This Robert Irwin, below, is so interesting because it looks like a sphere but it's an illusion. It's kind of curved disc shape that is spaced away from the wall, and creates these beautiful shadows. Very groovy.
Robert Irwin (American, b. 1928)
Synthetic polymer paint on metal disc and arm
Again ... check out the shadows and how lovely they are, with the translucent materials used ...
Craig Kauffman, American (1932-2010)
Acrylic on formed plexiglas
O.K. my apologies to the artist. I am being crazy but this one reminded me of a crystal ball so I pretended to be having a vision and messed with the photo with the filters on my iPhone.
Helen Pashgian (American b. 1934)
Cast polyester resin sphere, with insert of clear acrylic rod
At some point in the afternoon we got some water and sat by the pond and watched the dragon flies dart around! They are like little fairies and impossible to catch with an iPhone camera.
This "Cat," below, was donated by my parents' friend and neighbor, Earnest, when they lived in Los Angeles. Earnest has since passed away and I couldn't find the plaque, with the artists name. It was quite lovely in the light, and very graceful.
Of course, we couldn't leave with out seeing Degas' little dancer ...
As well as other masterpieces by the Impressionist and other european masters.
We must have been at the museum for 4 1/2 or 5 hours. They kicked us out of the gift shop, a couple minutes before closing! So much to see and an amazing collection. Many say the best private collection amassed in California. It is pretty incredible.
This is on of Karen's rescue kitties, Oliver, back at her place enjoying the air conditioning.
For the Norton Simon Museum website, click here.
This video, below, is kind of a crack up. It's a commercial from when the Pasadena Museum of Art became the Norton Simon and features Candice Bergen. The museum looks much more lush on the outside these days!
Here is a video about one of the Van Gogh paintings, from the Norton Simon Collection, and it explains how Vincent actually set out to paint it. Very fascinating.
If the picture speaks to me,
if it tells me something about myself,
then I want it.
Then I have to have it.
~ Norton Simon