Norton Museum of Art
A Cultural Crown Jewel Prepares for a Dazzling Transformation - and a Bright Future
Photo Courtesy of the Norton Museum of Art
The Norton Museum of Art, one of the foundations of Palm Beach County culture, and a longtime pillar of the arts in South Florida, is engaged in the most comprehensive expansion in the Museum’s 75-year history. With more than 100,000 visitors each year, more than 7,000 works in an ever-expanding collection, and a distinct curatorial voice, the Norton’s mission has outgrown its existing home.
Through the great vision of the Board of Trustees, The New Norton will radically transform the existing campus, creating a popular destination that will allow the Museum to further serve the community through outstanding exhibitions, enriched educational programming, and world-class architecture.
Under the direction of Pritzker-Prize winning architect Lord Norman Foster of internationally renowned architectural firm Foster + Partners, The New Norton will restore the symmetry of the Museum’s original Marion Sims Wyeth plan, and dramatically reorient the Museum’s entrance to the main thoroughfare of S. Dixie Highway.
Integral to the transformation of The New Norton’s 42,000-square-foot West Wing is the creation of significant new public spaces, including:
An additional 12,000 square feet of gallery space for the Museum’s permanent collection and for special exhibitions — increasing exhibition space by more than 35%.
An expanded education center, with two new classrooms and a student gallery, more than doubling the Museum’s educational programming space.
A 210-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium, allowing the Museum to screen films, host concerts, and hold lectures in a first-class theater.
A fully realized campus that forms a “museum in a garden,” transforming much of the Norton’s 6.3-acre campus into a verdant landscape featuring a 9,000-square-foot sculpture garden, a shade garden, and lush, sub-tropical pathways.
Six restored and repurposed 1920s bungalows on Cranesnest Way at the southern edge of the Museum campus, which creates dedicated space for an Artist-In-Residency program and Museum Director’s home.
Improved visitor amenities including a dazzling, 4,000-square-foot, two-story Great Hall, a new dining pavilion, garden terrace, Museum store, and special event spaces.
The Museum’s new entrance includes a plaza with a dynamic reflecting pool that will serve as the Norton’s welcoming, public face. As one of the county’s most significant civic spaces, this broad entryway will provide additional space for outdoor programming and special events, and create a memorable and dynamic gateway to the Museum.
Creating a strong architectural presence worthy of the Museum’s outstanding collections, The New Norton creates a unified campus that prioritizes the relationship between art and audience. The project embodies the belief that art museums should be the center of cultural life in their communities. Highlighting the Norton’s value as a cultural beacon and inclusive community resource of unparalleled excellence, The New Norton seeks to improve the quality of life for all through engaging with the visual arts.
Founded in 1941 by Chicago industrialist Ralph Norton and his wife Elizabeth, the Museum has grown dramatically since it opened with works of art the couple collected during their travels. These included paintings and works on paper by renowned artists such as Braque, Cassatt, Chagall, Klee, Monet, Pissarro, Picasso, Matisse, Miro, O’Keeffe, Bellows, Hopper, and so many more. Norton’s mission for the museum was “to preserve for the future the beautiful things of the past” while providing “education and enjoyment” for the public. That has been the Museum’s guiding principal for 75 years.
The Museum has continued to gather formidable works of art, adding to its collections of European, American, Contemporary, and Chinese Art and Photography, increasing the total number of works to more than 7,000. (The Museum’s collection of Chinese jade and bronze is considered among the best in the world, and its impressive photography collection spans decades and styles.) The Norton also presents fascinating special exhibitions and an array of lectures, guided tours, classes and educational outreach programs. The Museum’s popular weekly Art After Dark series – Where Culture and Entertainment Meet – held Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., includes, live music, tours, tastings, artist lectures, exhibition tours, dance performances, Curator’s Conversations, documentary screenings, and more!
Completion of The New Norton is set for 2018. The Museum will remain open during this transformation. Let the great art at the Norton inspire you! For more information, visit www.Norton.org, or call 561-832-5196.
You can tour Norton Museum for free all year!
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