The Frick Collection
Peter Paul Rubens, The Holy Women at the Sepulchre Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Birth of Saint John the Baptist Francisco de Zurbarán, Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte), The Flight into Egypt Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino, Aldrovandi Dog
The West Gallery of The Frick Collection
Special Exhibition

Jacopo Bassano
The Flight into Egypt
Podcast | Video

Peter Paul Rubens
The Holy Women at the Sepulchre
Podcast | Video

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri called Guercino
Aldrovandi Dog
Podcast | Video

Francisco de Zurbarán
Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose

Masterpieces of European Painting from the Norton Simon Museum
February 10 through May 10, 2009

  Norton William Simon with paintings
  Edgar Degas, Dancers in the Wings, 1880, pastel and tempera on paper mounted to paperboard, Norton Simon Art Foundation

In 1954 Norton Simon bought paintings to decorate his home in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. His first acquisitions were Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Degas, Renoir, Gauguin, and Cézanne. Simon went on to assemble a private art collection that would come to be recognized as one of the finest in the world. In the 1960s he expanded his focus as a collector and began purchasing Old Masters and modern art. Simon’s honeymoon in India in 1971 with his second wife, the actress Jennifer Jones, sparked his interest in Indian and Southeast Asian art — a passion reflected in his burgeoning collection.

The Norton Simon Foundation and the Norton Simon Art Foundation, established in 1952 and 1954, purchased works of art and made them available for exhibitions around the country, creating what Simon called a “Museum without walls.” Chief among The Norton Simon Foundation’s acquisitions was Duveen Brothers’ New York inventory in 1964, which included Old Master paintings, sculpture, furniture, and tapestries, as well as the library and the Seventy-ninth Street town house in which all were housed.

  Norton William Simon with paintings
  Shiva the Bull-Rider, c. 1000, bronze, India, Tamil Nadu, The Norton Simon Foundation

In 1974 Simon assumed management of the financially troubled Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, assimilating its collections with his own into the Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, which opened the following year. Simon would oversee the museum until his death in 1993, at the age of eighty-six. Today, exceptional examples of Western art ranging from the fourteenth through the twentieth century, modern and contemporary works, and superb Asian art are housed in the Norton Simon Museum’s elegant building. This distinctive structure, with curvilinear exterior walls, was designed by architects Thornton Ladd and John Kelsey and opened in 1969. From 1996 to 1999 the architect Frank Gehry, working with executive architect Greg Walsh, renovated the interior, creating a tranquil environment in which to contemplate this extraordinary collection.

The Norton Simon Collection and Museum

Norton Simon Museum, photograph by Elon Schoenholz

Principal funding for the exhibition is provided by Melvin R. Seiden in honor of Colin B. Bailey. Major corporate support is provided by Fiduciary Trust Company International. Additional support is generously provided by the Thaw Charitable Trust, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Birkelund, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.