Norton Simon Museum

Marvel at this museum’s exquisite collection of art, including ancient Southeast Asian artworks, sculpture gardens and exhibits of Europe’s greatest painters.

Experience some of history’s most influential artworks at the Norton Simon Museum, a gorgeous modernist complex in Pasadena California. This museum was constructed in 1969 to display the vast collection of Norton Simon. It contains one of the world’s most respected assemblages of art masterpieces.

Begin your tour on the lower level, which displays artifacts collected from South and Southeast Asia. See peaceful bronze Chola sculptures from India, religious paintings featuring Buddhist motifs and detailed Japanese woodblock paintings.

Upstairs, browse the early Renaissance galleries to see enthralling religious scenes depicted in oil by Botticelli and Raphael. Venture into the Baroque-era gallery to view pensive portraits by Rubens and Rembrandt, two masters of the 17th-century Flemish movement.

Step forward through time into the 19th-century Europe gallery to see displays of French Impressionism. Monet, Renoir and Degas are all well represented here alongside colorful post-impressionist pieces by Van Gogh and Cézanne. Experience their beautiful attempts to capture fleeting moments of the day.

Browse the contemporary gallery to experience works where vision and reality combine in explosive modern styles. Inspect the angular forms of Picasso’s cubist figures and decipher the exceptionally colorful expressions of Matisse. Pop art works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein represent the development of materialist consumerism in the 20th century.

After a journey through art’s great moments, take a relaxing walk through the museum’s sculpture gardens, which feature gorgeous works in bronze, lead and marble around a scenic pond.

For the best experience of the museum, follow its award-winning audio tour which provides background information on over 400 pieces. Attend daily films or lectures at the Norton Simon Theater, which also hosts dance and orchestral performances. Visit the website for detailed schedules.

The Norton Simon Museum is just a short walk from Old Pasadena. Get here by car and use onsite parking or travel using public bus and train routes. The museum is open daily except Tuesdays and charges admission.