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The New Norton Simon Sculpture Garden

Articles: The New Norton Simon Sculpture Garden

The central pond at the Norton Simon Museum, with star sedge (Rhynchospora latifolia) in the foreground, backed by yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus), waterlilies (Nymphaea cultivars), and sculptures by Aristide Maillol and Henry Moore in the distance. Author’s photographs
Color sequences varied with the progression of each season accentuating the changes in light and weather.
Elizabeth Murray, Monet’s Passion

Located on a dramatic piece of land near the Arroyo Seco on the western edge of Pasadena, the Norton Simon Museum is a California treasure. Constructed in 1969 on the site of Carmelita, one of Pasadena’s famous early gardens, the Pasadena Art Museum was reorganized and renamed in honor of its generous benefactor, industrialist Norton Simon, in 1974. His newly installed collection of art catapulted the museum into the top tier of smaller art institutions.

For the next two decades, Simon’s extensive outdoor sculpture collection was displayed in an area sandwiched between two wings of the museum building. Although the sculpture was first rate, the space housing the collection had a sterile appearanc...

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