Norton Simon Museum
museum in Pasadena, California



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Norton Simon Museum
museum in Pasadena, California
Average: 5 (1 vote)

411 West Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, California
United States

More about Norton Simon Museum

ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

Get museums named after you like Norton Simon did by taking on their debts. 

Previously known as the Pasadena Art Institute and the Pasadena Art Museum before being renamed after Norton Simon.

Norton Simon was an avid art collector and industrialist. He was born in Portland, Oregon, went to high school in San Francisco, and quit pre-law at UC Berkeley six-weeks in to establish his sheet metal company. He also went on to merge his produce company with the competing Hunt Foods in 1943. Hunt’s is part of the ConAgra brand today and sells well-known brands such as Manwich and Snack Pack Pudding under the Hunt’s label.

Simon was able to rename the museum and have a space for his extensive art collection when he agreed to take over the museum’s financial troubles in 1974.

Simon closed the museum for a $3 million renovation. The public was outraged (because when are they not?) he would close the only contemporary art museum between San Francisco and San Diego. Simon’s sister, Marcia Weisman, lead the charge to build the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) so that Tinseltown would never be without. Take about sibling rivalry!

The actress Jennifer Jones was a huge supporter of her third husband and used her Hollywood connections to further Simon’s museum. Some of Jones’ friends who served on the Museum’s board are: Billy Wilder, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant and Candice Bergen.

Simon seemed equally smitten with his wife as he tried to buy a prop-portrait of her from the 1948 film Portrait of Jennie, long before they ever met

Jones last appeared in the disaster film The Towering Inferno (1974) staring Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, among others. She dances with con man Fred Astaire and saves two children before falling to her death. A few paintings from Simon’s collection are featured in the film.

After Simon’s death in 1993 Jones continued to serve as Chair(wo)man of the Board of Trustees until her retirement in 2003.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum is an art museum located in Pasadena, California, United States. It was previously known as the Pasadena Art Institute and the Pasadena Art Museum and displays numerous sculptures on its grounds.


The Norton Simon collections include: European paintings, sculptures, and tapestries; Asian sculptures, paintings, and woodblock prints. Outside sculptures surround the museum, with notable Rodin sculptures near its entrance and other sculptures along Colorado Boulevard and in a landscape setting around a large pond. The museum contains the Norton Simon Theater which shows film programs daily, and hosts lectures, symposia, and dance and musical performances year-round. The museum is located on Colorado Boulevard along the route of the Tournament of Roses's Rose Parade, where its distinctive, brown tile exterior can be seen in the background of television broadcasts.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Norton Simon Museum.