The Norton Simon Museum is one of Pasadena’s leading cultural centers and truly one of our favorite places in all of Southern California. Both Greg and Tim are longtime members of the museum. We are proud to support the museum and partake in different exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Museum History

The Pasadena Art Institute was founded in 1922 to encourage the study of fine arts. One of the original goals was to build and maintain a museum and library of art in Pasadena. It would be a place for artists and art lovers to gather and appreciate the purest forms of artistic expression. The museum resides in the old Reed mansion at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove in the heart of Pasadena. This 22-room house and surrounding 9.5 acres of Carmelita Park land have serve as the home for the Norton Simon Museum.

The museum was once known as the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art and also the Pasadena Art Museum. They were struggling financially in the 1970s before Norton Simon stepped in to help save the institution and renovate it for future generations to enjoy. It was later renamed after him in honor of his many contributions. The main museum building was designed by architect, John Kelsey. We actually sold a home in Pasadena that he had designed and lived in, so we have a special appreciation for his architectural style.

About the Collection

Greg and Tim will both agree the Norton Simon Museum is home to one of the world’s best private and permanent art collections in the country. Norton Simon was an industrialist who collected art from all over the globe—from European Renaissance masterworks to modern pieces from the United States, Europe and Asia. Among the collection you’ll find works by artists such as Renoir, Rembrandt, Monet, van Gogh and Picasso, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and rare prints.

Special Exhibits

In addition to the main collection of artwork, the museum also features special exhibits. Alternate Realities is on display through August 22 and explores American pieces from artists John Altoon, Emerson Woelffer, Frank Lobdell and Richard Diebenkorn. In addition, Paul Gauguin’s “The Swineherd” is also on loan from LACMA and can be viewed at the Simon Museum through November 14, 2022. Be sure to check their calendar for more upcoming exhibitions.

You can also check out their current virtual exhibition: Representing Women: Gender and Portraiture in 17th-Century Europe.

How to Plan Your Visit

In addition, the Simon Museum offers tours and educational programs for art enthusiasts of all ages. The museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open every other day of the week in the afternoon. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and free for children, active military personnel and students with school ID. Museum members can also visit for free. To learn more about becoming a member and supporting this institution, click here.