The One with the Norton Simon Museum

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We went to the Norton Simon Museum yesterday.

It's always fun to browse a museum with my in-house art history specialist. He gets so excited.

Before I knew we could take pictures (it's usually a very big no no in museums), I sneakily took this gem. Your tooshie makes a better door than it does a window Chris :)
If you look on the very right edge, middle, that's the painting by Van Gogh I was trying to sneak a picture of. There are security guards EVERYWHERE in this museum so this was the best I could do. But then I find out we could take pictures and alls well that ends well.

Side story leading up to my point: This print by Vincent Van Gogh has been hanging in my parent's house since I can remember. On the bottom right corner it says where the actual artwork is displayed.

Who would have thought that on January 16th 2010, I would actually see it in real life?

It's definitely more beautiful in person. The paint is so thick it's like he painted straight out of the tube. I love that.

Some of my other museum favorites include this Cubist painting of a street in Paris. I especially like the two figures in the bottom left corner.

Juan Gris is my favorite Cubist painter so I was excited to see a piece by him.

Another Vincent Van Gogh.

And a Marcel Duchamp!!

Chris' creepy favorite:

There was a special Rembrandt exhibition going on. It made me want to etch into some copper plates. Here is one of his prints up close:

And here it is with Chris as a reference to show you how tiny it actually is:

I'm amazed at how the lines are so evenly spaced apart. It's meticulous and insane (in a good way).

Signed by Rembrandt in 1637. That's many many years ago.

I'd like to play a game of chess using this set. Those King and Queen pieces are magnificent!

Check out the decorative frame around this lovely painting!

Then we went outside to the museum grounds and took a walk in the garden.

That's when my camera battery died and I switched to my phone, but who can tell? Thanks Nexus One, you have yet to disappoint me.

We saw an interesting plant named Angel's Trumpet.

And a cool tree that couldn't make up its mind about which way to grow.

As we were driving into the museum, I saw a statue that looked like Rodin's Thinker, but I wasn't too sure. Then I overheard someone talking about it inside the museum so after we left we walked around to the side of the building where I thought I saw it and sure enough, there he was.

"I'm thinking....I'm thinking....I'm thinking...."

Wanna hear a funny joke that I think of every time I see Impressionist paintings?
A thief in Paris planned to steal some valuable paintings from the Louvre - an impossible feat, to say the least.
After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two blocks away because his van ran out of gas. When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, 'Monsieur, I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh, but I tried for it anyway because I had nothing Toulouse!'"


  1. I am so jealous! I've loved van Gogh since WAY before Impressionism became Yuppy.

  2. hmm, I like the cubist painting of the street in Paris as well, and I'm not usually a huge cubist fan. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Awesome pictures!! Just gorgeous!! Love love love your new blog look!!

  4. Giacometti's not creepy! He's awesome! As were those Rembrandt prints. I think I should get into that. It seems like dentistry and engraving use a lot of the same skills.

    I had fun with you! (as always :)

  5. I love that Van Gogh with the tree!! I have never seen that one! I also loved your 70 pictures post :)

  6. SO cool!! I LOVED Art History in college. Gosh, I wish I would have paid more attention that I actually did! LOL. I appreciate it so much more now, even though I appreciated it then too. LOL.

    And cute joke! I saw a t-shirt that said, "Step on DeGas to make the Van Gogh." I still say it every time pretentious art creeps into a conversation. Hardy har har. ;-)

    (And how cute is Chris' comment on this post?! Adorable!)

  7. Hi there, I'm a new follower and am really enjoying your blog! I love Van Gogh (and pretty much the whole Impressionist era!) We've visited the Musee D'Orsay in Paris twice now and it was many iconic pieces of art there. Also went to the Orangerie which is like being inside a Monet painting...I could live there! Anyway, loved reading about your gallery visit and the kids will be impressed when I show them The Thinker - they love him in Night at the Museum 2 (my 3 year old does a wicked impression!) xxx


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