Friday, September 6, 2013

The Unexpected at the Norton Simon Museum of Art

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

Bodhisattva Maitreya
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

Celestial Female
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!

Beyond Brancusi: The Space of Sculpture
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.

Untitled, 1968
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 ...

Untitled, 1969
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.

Untitled, 1969
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.

Another post I did about the Norton Simon, shows some of the other works I mentioned, and you can check that out here.

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

Next post ... off to Umbria! The post, that is, not me!


MunirGhiasuddin said...

Thanks for such a nice tour of the museum. The Krishna story must have been a surprise indeed.
God bless you for your hard work.

donna baker said...

Four to 5 hours - what a luxury. I am such a fan of Van Gogh and loved the video. Thanks for the little tour.

erin's art and gardens said...

howdy lucinda! thanks for the lovely tour. i especially love the shots of you! at the frist museum of art, here in nashville, i got in trouble when a guard thought i was taking pictures (i didnt even have a camera or phone on me) . i am surprised you could take photos? anyhoo, looks like a grand time....

Amanda Summer said...

Thank you for this beautiful tour - the next time I'm in LA I will try to see this lovely museum.

Tammie Lee said...

thank you for a wonderful trip to the museum, it has been so long since i have been there.

Cobalt Violet said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Yes, you can take photos, as long as they are works that are owned by the Norton Simon. It's the traveling works that most museums don't let you take photos of, because they don't own the rights. At least it's that way at LACMA and the Met. :)

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the Indian art works. Great detail shots!

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