The Norton Simon museum in Pasadena, California is a great place to take kids to learn about art. I discovered this gem when I was taking an online Asian art history class. On my first trip to the museum, I fell in love with the South & Southeast Asian Art Collection. The detail of the sculptures and the use of various mediums is amazing. The Asian carved pieces are my favorite pieces in the museum. Observing these pieces makes me wonder how long it took to make them; they are very intriguing. The museum also has paintings and sculptures from European, Mexican and American artists, including Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Diego Rivera (one of my favorite paintings “The Flower Vendor Girl” is on display).
I am a painter myself, so I hope my son will also learn to appreciate art and broaden his knowledge of the arts. At school, my son’s teacher has tried to encourage my reluctant budding artist to participate in making art, sometimes he’s not so willing. Thus, I hope by exposing him to art via art museums, he might become a little more interested in actually making art at school. He’s a pretty good artist when he puts in the effort.
I’ve been to the Norton Simon two times before my recent visit. It’s definitely a place to visit multiple times. I was drawn to the contemporary art, Asian art, and sculptures in the museum because that’s the art I enjoy. The museum will definitely not disappoint if you’re interested in those areas, as the collections are stunning. They also have art from the European Middle Ages that is very impressive.
From the perspective of a four-year-old, my son was pretty intrigued by the sculpture art and Asian art. As you will see from my photos, he was very focused and observant when viewing the art pieces. I think his favorite pieces were the sculptures. The highlight of the museum which I discovered this visit is the outdoor sculpture garden with large pond, somehow on my previous visits I missed this part of the museum.
My son was very interested in the garden. He enjoyed walking around viewing the flowers, trees and large sculptures in the garden. We also, stopped and observed the small fish in the pond, the lily pads, and what looked like a water bush growing under the water.
Here are some beautiful shots of the sculpture garden:
The Asian art collection must be viewed in person to fully take in the detail of the pieces. Here are photos I took in the Asian art area:
Below are some famous art pieces that I enjoyed at the museum. I particularly enjoyed the Van Gogh painting, the color and texture was amazing.
I invite you to visit this museum if you are in the area, because it is definitely one of the best museums in Pasadena. Children will also enjoy it and there is a café with tables right next to the sculpture garden. This is a great place to grab a bite to eat, sit and enjoy the scenery. Here’s a link to the museum’s website https://www.nortonsimon.org/.
Below are other great photos I took at the museum:
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